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121 L88v 
Los sky 

Value and. existence 

121 L88T 

Los sky 

Value and existence 



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D DDD1 DStL^lB 2 




Professor of Philosophy in the 
Russian University of Prague 


Professor of Philosophy 
in Albion College 






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t,(t)r}v zy 




THE problem of value is primarily the problem of the 
concrete in contemporary philosophy. But paradoxical 
as it may seem the search for values by most of our 
philosophers has been a quest in terms of formal essences 
or abstract criteria. This is due to the fact that our 
philosophy is usually rooted in the formal side of Aris- 
totle's logic, and so it has largely developed in the form 
of abstract concepts, notions of the mind, and formal 
essences. Hence by very necessity it has given itself over 
to the problems of formal logic and subjective episte- 
mology rather than to the sphere of metaphysics. 

But the Russian mind is primarily metaphysical, and 
has a tradition that is rooted in the concrete. Its episte- 
mology leads it to the recognition of the possibility of 
knowing the concrete and thus makes an ontology 
possible. Both in epistemology and metaphysics this 
tradition is essentially Christian Neo-Platonism. Of 
course it is true that Schelling inspired Solovyof and 
thus caused the rise of a truly native Russian philosophy. 
But that does not mean that Russian philosophy was 
ever essentially committed to the thought of Schelling. 
It has a tradition of its own which was stimulated and 
brought to life by a similar impulse in Germany. Due 
to the tradition of the Church Russia had an implicit 
philosophy, a philosophy that was born of the Neo- 
Platonism of the Church Fathers. 

This implicit Neo-Platonism is the true heritage of 
Russian thinking. It emerges when the Russian begins 


Value and Existence 

to reflect on the problem of reality. That is the reason 
it is so baffling. When we begin to read Solovyof, Kar- 
savin 5 or Bulgakov^ we expect a type of thought that is 
identical with that known to us in Romantic German 
philosophy. We have an analogous situation in the revival 
of Neo-Platonism in England during the nineteenth 
century. That revival is also very difficult for most 
readers to understand. Many historians of philosophy 
find the thought of Coleridge and F. D. Maurice singu- 
larly difficult. That is because the thinking stimulated 
by ScheUing gradually assumed the form of the long 
tradition of Neo-Platonism found in the seventeenth- 
century poets and the Cambridge Platonists. So the 
Russian tradition, although stimulated by German 
thought^ has gradually become more and more Neo- 

The philosophical reader who first approaches the 
present work may be prone to suffer from an illusion: he 
may tend to think of the system as Hegelian. It is the same 
sort of illusion as the reader of Coleridge suffers from 
when he thinks that Coleridge is a follower of ScheUing. 
In reality Coleridge uses the terminology of the Post- 
Kantian school, but actually follows the tradition of 
Cudworth and the seventeenth-century Platonic poets. 
So the present book uses German terminology and 
method, but its theory is essentially Christian Neo-Plato- 
nism. It is not a new development of the Hegelian theory 
of metaphysics and value. 

The theory is not Hegelian. From its point of view 
Hegel suffers from a false type of concreteness. Hegel's 
thought is embodied in the concept of the world as a 



concrete universal. The concrete universal is the whole 
of reality as concretely interpenetrated. The world is 
already concrete. Seen as a whole in the full context of 
its environment every person or every event has a com- 
pletely satisfactory place within the totality. The whole 
is already perfect. The individual is that which has 
value. However, the only true individual is the whole. 
Everything has a positive value when seen as an in- 
evitable part of the perfect whole of things which we call 
the Absolute. 

It may help us to contrast the general thought of 
the present volume with the Hegelian conception of 
the world. Both types of metaphysics believe in the 
concrete. Both of them consider the perfect, that which 
has value, to be the concrete whole. Both believe in the 
Absolute. But the Absolute and the concrete whole are 
differently conceived in the two systems. For Hegel 
the Absolute is the whole, the all-inclusive totality of 
reality. For the Christian Neo-Platonist the Absolute 
transcends the world. He considers the Absolute to be 
that which is autonomous aU-sufficient existence. The 
Absolute is not the all-inclusive. He does consider the 
Absolute as the necessary complement to the contingent 
existence of the individual; but the individual is not in- 
cluded in Him. Rather, the Absolute stands over against 
the world. The world in a sense depends on God* but 
God does not depend on the world. 

But even this distinction is not enough. Even the 
transcendence of the God of Plotinus is not sufficient; 
there is a hiatus between God and the world. God is 
the creator and sustainer of the world. He made the 


Value and Existence 

world out of nothing^ ex nihilo. God Is not that from 
which the world emanated; He is not the fulness of 
which the world is merely a derivation. God made the 
world out of nothing and projected it from His own 
being. Yet the world is sustained by Him and derives 
such value as it has from Him. 

Now we can clearly see the difference between this 
theory and that of Hegel. For both of them the Absolute 
is that which has complete value. For both of them the 
Absolute alone has final autonomous value. But for 
Hegel every individual necessarily shares in this value 
because by necessity he is a part of the whole. From 
the higher point of view, from the standpoint of the 
whole, the cruelties of nature, the struggle for existence, 
war, famine, and crushing hate are all a part of that 
concrete perfection which can only be understood if 
seen in true perspective. Everything that exists has 
positive value when seen as an inevitable part of that 
perfect whole which we call the Absolute. 

For Christian Neo-Platonism, on the other hand, not 
everything is good or beautiful. Only the Absolute has 
autonomous value; but It is beyond our world. There is 
evil in the world, and ugliness. The criterion of perfection 
is the same as that of Hegel: the complete interpenetra- 
tion of all elements within a concrete whole. But our 
world is not completely interpenetrated. It is a maze 
of winding paths; it is illuminated by broken lights. 
There is order in our world, but the order is not com- 
plete. There is beauty in our world, but our world is 
not completely beautiful. We live in a world that is 
partly good and partly bad. From no higher point can the 



evil be seen as a necessary aspect of good. The higher 
the point of view the more distressing evil becomes. It is 
the sensitive soul that has found slavery and war horrible, 
and drunkenness ugly. 

Even our limitations are an indication of the fact 
that our world is evil. The world lies in evil; this evil is 
rooted in the very character of material existence. Our 
Western thinking follows the thought of Aristotle which 
so easily blended with some of the implicit presuppo- 
sitions of the Book of Genesis. For Augustine as for 
Aristotle every creature is an example of an eternal 
type. For Augustine as for the Book of Genesis God made 
every plant and animal that we now know and found 
them all "very good." 

God did not create the cat, the wolf, and the tiger, or 
even man as he now is. God did not create the species 
of animals as we know them at all. The cat, the lion, and 
man were not created by God. Rather the present forms 
of life are the product of evolution. God created selves 
with a freedom of choice and created them with the 
possibility of entering the cooperative life of the Kingdom 
or of choosing an independent course of life. 

This Kingdom of Heaven by participation in the Life 
of God has a derivative absolute value. Due to its love 
for God the Kingdom of Heaven entered into the fulness 
of the life of God Himself. But due to their power of 
choice the substantival agents could, after their creation, 
either enter the Kingdom of Heaven or else choose the 
path of independent life and reject the concrete fulness 
of the Kingdom of Heaven. When they so chose, as 
some of the selves did, they began a life of very abstract 

Value and Existence 

existence. They no longer had a concrete experience 
because they did not participate in a cooperative life 
with God. This cooperative life may be termed a con- 
cretely consubstantial life. The life that is lived as much 
as possible apart from God is called a life in which there 
is only abstract consubstantiality. No soul can wander 
completely away from God. There must be some of 
the forms of the Kingdom left in the experience of 
every ego if there is to be any experience at all. 

Thus even evil involves some of the good, but it is 
a good that has been distorted into wickedness because 
it is lived in a spirit that is contrary to the life of the 
Kingdom of God. Hence all evil is self-contradictory 
and self-refuting. Even if it seems to aid the one who 
does it, as in the case of Napoleon, or Byron, yet it 
destroys the unity of the world and is hence wicked. 

Now we are in a position to understand the theory 
of our present existence. The soul that did not enter the 
Kingdom of God fell into a state of isolation. Its con- 
nection with other beings was very slender. It did not 
live a life of the concrete fulness of being. Such a state 
is that of an electron whose relation to other electrons is 
highly mechanical and external. Our world of plants 
and animals has evolved due to the efforts of very 
elementary beings to codperate with each other in a 
way to produce a concrete life. 

But even the high degree of cooperation we have in 
plant and animal life is far from perfect. An animal 
body is a highly concrete whole as far as our world 
is concerned. But an animal body is not perfectly united 
and is foil of imperfections. Helmholtz shocked his genera- 



tion by telling it that the eye was not perfect. Christian 
Neo-Platonism recognizes this same fact by telling us 
that cooperation is far from perfect even in animal 
organisms. But when we come to the organization which 
we term the State and the World we find that the 
cooperation is even more imperfect. Our age is attempt- 
ing to achieve a deeper type of concrete consubstanti- 
ality, a politically united world; but due to hatred, 
ignorance, and fear, the world is filled with disruption 
and opposition and thus complete concreteness is not 

The task that this book sets before itself is the task 
of showing where true absolute concrete consub- 
stantiality lies, and how it is related to this world of 
ours. The book very frankly acknowledges the place of 
relative values in our world. In this sense it is critical 
of that extreme form of asceticism which would fail 
to realize the necessity of a normal evolution in the 
development of human experience. 

Two streams of philosophy flowed from the spring 
of Plato's thought. The first was developed in part by 
Plato himself. The Ideas were really abstract although 
they probably had a polytheistic origin in the thought 
of Plato and thus did not seem so abstract to him. This 
abstract way of looking at the ultimate nature of reality 
was accentuated by the mathematical developments of 
the Platonic school and in Western Thought by the 
conception that morals were really commands of God. 
Thus some of the medieval thinkers even made the 
forms creations of God, thin, abstract rules of life and 

Value and Existence 

The other stream of thought was really a develop- 
ment from Aristotle's criticism of Plato. The work of 
Philo, Plotinus, and the Greek Fathers was an attempt 
to achieve a doctrine of concreteness. Plato's Demiurge 
was really the recognition by him of the need of con- 
creteness. Following a hint in the Republic, Plotinus 
and the others made the Absolute the absolute fulness 
of being and then related all lesser categories to the one 
supreme ineffable Good. 

The Christian thinker achieved a still richer con- 
creteness in his living theory of the Trinity and the 
Incarnation. The Greek Fathers and all the followers 
of their tradition have made their special problem the 
nature of concreteness in relation to the Trinity and 
the Incarnation. Thus the problem of categories is a 
very different one for such a thinker than for a follower 
of the abstract tradition. Most philosophers tend to 
make the abstract categories ultimate. They are the true 
absolutes of our tiiinking. We see this in Newton's 
absolutes of space, time, and motion. For the Christian 
Neo-Platonist the real problem is rather the relation of 
abstract categories to that concrete fulness of being 
which he is convinced does exist and has been seen by the 
eye of the mystic. He believes in mathematics and logic, 
but he also believes that there are higher categories 
than these; he believes there are categories or forms of 
concrete existence. Our thin forms of life are merely the 
abstractions, the vestigia of a fuller life which is only 
found in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Thus our book presents us with a philosophy of value 
that rests on the rich tradition of a line of reflection which 



has made the problem of the concrete particularly its 
own in every field of human living. It is uniquely in- 
terested in the concrete within the sphere of ethics and 
aesthetics^ for it is a philosophy whose central interest 
lies in the field of values. 


THE authors wish to record their very great obligation 
to Mr. Sergei Vinokooroff for his untiring efforts in 
translating Part I of this volume into English. 

It is especially the authors* desire to explain that 
the dual authorship of the book is not strictly a collabora- 
tion. Part I was written alone by Professor Lossky and 
is a translation of his book on value, Tsennost i bytiye, 
published by the Y.M.CA Press of Paris in 1931, The 
Preface and Part II were written by Professor Marshall 
as an explanation or commentary to make clear certain 
basic conceptions presented in Part I. 






Value as the Fulness of Being: 

God and the Kingdom of God as 

the Foundation of Values 





1 . Psychologism. The Theory of Heyde 38 

2. Scheler's Theory 50 

3 . The Dispute of Leibniz and Arnold Eckhart 

about the Concept of Value 53 

4. Value and the Absolute Fulness of Life 56 



1. The Existence of the Substantival Agent 

for Himself 62 

2. Immanence of Everything in Everything 67 

3. God and the Kingdonl of God 70 

4. Love and Freedom 75 

5. Individual Existence 79 

6. Personality. The Spiritual Foundations of 

Existence 94 


Value and Existence 



1. The Definition of Value 99 

2. Absolute and Relative^ Objective and Sub- 

jective Values 103 

3. All-Embracing and Partial Absolute In- 

trinsic Values 109 

4. Relative Values 114 

5. Negative Values 123 

6. Instrumental Values 131 

7. The Tragic Character of Normal Evolution 132 

8. False Arguments in Favour of Relativism 140 

9. The Order of Rank in Values 141 



1. Value and the Feeling of Value 144 

2. Value and Will 147 


Characteristic Features of Value 
as the Fulness of Being 



1. The Person and the "Image of God" 171 

2. The Significance of Meaning 174 

3. God and the World 178 

4. Value as Meaning 182 


1. God as Complete Meaning 185 

2. Truth as Theory and Truth as Value 189 

3. God as the Good 192 

4. Beauty Transient and Eternal 193 








NOTE: Chapter I in the present edition is the Introduction of the 
Russian edition. Thus Chapters I, II 3 HI, and IV of the Russian 
edition become Chapters II> IH y IV, and V of this edition. 


Value as the Absolute Fulness of Being: 

God and the Kingdom of God as 

the Foundation of Values 



VALUE is something which pervades everything. It 
determines the meaning of the world as a whole, as well 
as the meaning of every person, every event, and every 
action. Even the smallest change introduced into the 
world by any agent has a value and is undertaken only 
on the ground and for the sake of some value moments. 
Everything that exists, and even everything that may 
exist or in any way belong to the composition of the 
world, is of such nature that it not only exists, but also 
contains within itself either the justification or condem- 
nation of its being. It can be said of everything that it 
is either good or bad; it can be said whether it must or 
must not be, or that it ought or ought not to exist, that its 
existence is right or wrong (not in the judicial sense). 

The omnipresence of the value moment does not help 
us, but rather makes it much more difficult to recog- 
nize it and to work out an abstract concept of value. 
When we meet the value moment in actual life, it is 
connected with existence; and it is difficult to differentiate 
them from each other in such a way as to perceive them 
as distinct concepts: existence purified from value, and 
value abstracted from existence. Moreover, it is possible 
that we can only come to recognize these two sides of 
the world even in the abstract form by the way not of 
mental differentiation as when, for example, we mentally 
separate colour from length but only by thinking of 


Value and Existence 

existence from a certain angle, an angle that opens out 
a definite aspect of it, an aspect which can be under- 
stood only on the ground of a peculiar combination of 
different sides of the world. 

If this supposition is true., then we can expect that 
quite a number of philosophical theories will simplify 
the problem and will work out a concept of value by taking 
into consideration only one element of value, or by taking 
into consideration not even value itself, but some of the 
conditions that make value possible,, or the consequences 
produced by it. Therefore we should expect the existence 
of a large number of theories of value that would neces- 
sarily be very different one from another, and often 
even partially contradictory. And this is actually the 
case. We will prove it by citing a number of well-known 
influential theories that are mutually contradictory. 

Psychological theories of value are very widespread. 
They make value subjective and renounce the existence 
of absolute values. Ehrenfels* theory furnishes a good 
example in the field of axiology, or the theory of value, 
of psychologism followed by subjectivism and relativism. 
According to Ehrenfels the value of an object lies in a 
subject's desire for the object (Begehrbarkeif). But as far 
as the possibility of the rise of a desire is concerned, such 
a possibility exists when the vivid and clear imagina- 
tion of the existence of an object promises a state of 
pleasure that lies higher on the scale of pleasure-dis- 
pleasure than the portrayal of the object as not existing. 1 
Desire and the intensity of pleasure are thus coordinated 

1 Chr. V. Ehrenfels 3 System der Wert-theorie 3 two volumes, see 
i, p. 65. 



and connected by a rule, and this connection is the value 
of an object. 

Kreibig's theory of value is very similar to Ehrenfels*. 
Kreibig says that value is that meaning which a sensory 
or thought content has for a subject, a meaning caused 
by feelings directly, or by association connected with 
the content. These feelings may be real or they may 
exist only in the form of a disposition; they aid the 
psychic activity or else depress it. 1 The rejection of abso- 
lute values, the recognition of the relativity of values, 
and also the assertion of the subjectivity of values follow 
from this definition. Kreibig will, however, allow the 
use of the term "objective value" if we define it as the 
value of an object as judged correctly by an ideal subject, 
all of whose empirically possible reactions of feeling are 
consummated with a complete knowledge of the proper- 
ties of the object. 

The development of Meinong's theory is very interest- 
ing. This clever and careful analyst began with the 
development of a psychological, subjective theory of 
value (Psychologich-ethische Untersuchungen zur Wert- 
theorie, 1894), but twenty-five years later, after excellent 
works had appeared in German upholding anti-psycho- 
logism, objectivism, and absolutism in the theory of 
value, in his last work (Zur Grundlegung der allgemeinen 
Wert-theorie, 1923) he took as he expresses it, "a ream- 
ciliatory position" between the two hostile camps. Even 
in his first work he objected to Ehrenfels, and pointed 
out that value cannot be deduced from desire, because 

1 I. C. Kreibig, Psychologische Grundlegung eines Systems der Wert- 
theorie, p. 12. 


Value and Existence 

the relation between these two moments is the very 
opposite: desire is founded on the feeling of value, and 
not the other way around (p. 15). Similarly, we cannot 
reduce value to usefulness, because usefulness depends 
on value: the useful is that which causes something 
valuable to exist (p. 13). We cannot refer to the labour, 
the investment costs, and sacrifices as the primal sources 
of value, because labour, sacrifice, and costs are directed 
to that which is already valuable; but they do not create 
the value (Zur GrundL, p. 25). Finally, we cannot trace 
value to the satisfaction of a desire, i.e. the removal of 
dissatisfaction caused by the absence of some object, 
because many things are valuable whose absence produces 
no dissatisfaction. If we broaden the concept of desire, 
or more specifically, if we substitute for it the concept 
of interest, then, says Meinong, the connection between 
interest and value always will be present. However, this 
will not render us any help in our study because these 
two words are practically synonymous (Zur GrundL, p. 19). 

Rejecting the theories enumerated, Meinong finds, 
however, that in all of them there is a moment which 
actually enters into the concept of value. That moment 
is relation to the subject. Any object can be valuable, 
says Meinong, and even though remaining unchanged 
can produce different experiences of value in different 
subjects and even in the same subject. From this it 
follows that not the object, but our relation to the object, 
is that which is important. 1 

But what kind of a relation is this? The only thing 

1 Meinong, Psychologich-ethische Untersuchungen zur Wert-theorie 9 
p. 14; Zur Grundlegung der allgemeinen Wert-tbeorie s p. 33, 



in common in the most different cases of value, says 
Meinong, is the experiencing by the subject of the 
feeling of value, or to be exact, the possibility of such 
an experience: "an object is valuable in so far as it can 
serve as the real ground of the feeling of value in a 
normal and sufficiently oriented person" (Untersuch., 
p. 25). The feeling of value, he adds,, is the only pheno- 
menal aspect of value., i.e. that aspect accessible to 
experience (p. 30). 

From this formulation Meinong draws the con- 
clusion that value is relative in two senses. In the first 
place it is relative in so far as value has the capacity 
to serve as the real ground of the feeling of value, and in 
the second place in so far as it is necessary to have the 
presence of the subject in whom the experience of the 
feeling of value is realized. He explains the attempts 
to find absolute value in an object as the search for that 
quality, immanent in the object producing the feeling of 
value, which belongs to that object even when there is 
no subject present. However, he says, such a concept 
of value is not the same as the one commonly admitted; in 
the usual sense value is attributed to an object only when 
there is somebody present for whomvzlue. is value (p. 29). 

Meinong's definition of value, given above, astonishes 
us with its barrenness. In the end it can be reduced, as 
Meinong himself points out, to this : the valuable is that 
which I value (p. 14). If we take this theory as an asser- 
tion that the quality of an object which produces a feeling 
of value in the subject is valuable only because it produces 
a feeling of value, then Meinong's theory will prove to 
be a quite radical and rather poor psychologism. Nobody, 

Value and Existence 

of course, denies that the feeling of value is valuable, 
but it is still more obvious that these feelings are a 
symptom of a still greater and more fundamental value of 
the content of existence itself which awakens such feelings. 

In Meinong's definition "the value of an object lies 
in the capacity of the object to serve as the foundation 
for the feeling of value in a normal person who is rightly 
oriented." If we put the accent on the word capacity, and 
also recall his statement that the feeling of value alone is 
accessible to the experience, we have the right to interpret 
this theory as an agnosticism, which stresses the feeling 
of value only because a deeper content of this aspect of 
the world is not given in experience. Because he pursues 
a tangible fact, Meinong does not penetrate into the dark 
depths of objective value. In the further development of 
his theory, Meinong gives only a hint of the fundamental 
meaning of value, saying that the primal source of the 
feeling of value is the evil or the good of that existing 
(p. 55). Further development of this thought must reveal 
that the feeling of value is only a symptom of value, and 
must lead to the theory of objectivism, or at least to a 
subjective-objective theory of value. Ehrenfels, who 
argues passionately against the transfer of value to the 
object, understood this possibility in Meinong's reflec- 
tions, and consequently insists on the omission of the 
words "capacity [Faehigkeit] of the object" from the 
definition given by Meinong. 1 

Twenty-five years later Meinong wrote a book, Zur 
Grundlegung der allgemdnen Wert-theorie, in which 
"personal values" (personliche Werte\ i.e. values for 
1 Ehrenfels, i, p. 65. 



somebody, now serve only as the starting-point of the 
investigation. Speaking even of these values, he speaks 
of his position as reconciliatory in the dispute of the 
subjectivists and the objectivists and gives the following 
definition: "personal value is the qualification [Eignung] 
of the object to serve, because of its qualities and position, 
as the object of the experience of value" (p. 143). In 
other words, personal value is the significance of the 
existence of the object for the subject (Seinsbedeutung filr 
ein Subjekt) p. 145). Moreover, he now admits that 
besides personal values, impersonal (unfersonliche) values 
also exist for example, truth, beauty, and the moral 
good (p. 145). To accept them as values we need not have 
the experience of the feeling of value. These are absolute 
values, although of course even here relative values are 
added to the absolute ones: we can speak not only of 
the "impersonal value of o," but also of the "legitimate 
meaning of o" for a particular subject (p. 163). An 
absolute impersonal value "rightfully [berechtigterweise] 
must be value for any subject" (p. 165). 

The theory of Heyde, a follower of Remke, is very 
close to Meinong's theory in this last stage of its develop- 
ment. According to Heyde "value is a certain relation, 
specifically a 'mutual complementing' [Zugeordnetheit]" 
existing between the object of value and the feeling of 
value (a special state of the subject of value). And since 
value is a 1 relation, the members of that relation the 
object of value or the subject of value, and the state of 
the subject are considered only as data, and this inde- 
pendent of the fact whether they are real or not. 1 
1 I. E. Heyde, Wen, p. 153. 

c 33 

Value and Existence 

From this definition it is clear that the existence of 
value presupposes a combination of the subject and the 
object. However, the properties of the object are not 
values, but only the ground on which value is raised, and 
similarly, the feeling of value experienced by the subject 
is not value; strictly and definitely Heyde defines the 
thought that value is a relation of an object to the state 
of the subject (p. 106). Having stressed this position of 
value as if "between" the object and the subject, Heyde 
says that his theory is neither subjectivism nor objec- 
tivism, that it does not fall into relativism and psycho- 
logism. Heyde says that although value is a relation 
one member of which is the subject, still value is not 
subjective:, it is not a psychic experience of the subject; 
it is a relation (pp. 50, 63, 76, 83). Moreover, the con- 
nection with the subject does not prevent some values 
from being absolute. There are values that do not depend 
on the personal characteristics of the subject (Subjekt- 
besonderheit}i they are absolute. 

In strict opposition to Heyde stands the theory of 
Scheler. Scheler says that values for example, "pleasant, 
charming, delightful, noble," etc. are not relations, but 
peculiar qualities forming a special kingdom of objects 
with certain relations and ranks. 1 They cannot be deduced 
from or understood by the earmarks and properties 
which themselves do not belong to the realm of values 
(p. 9). The bearers of these qualities which are perceived 
through the theoretic functions of the intellect are things 
(Dinge); and the bearers of valuable qualities are 
goods (Outer). A good is "a unity of valuable qualities 
1 M. Scheler^ Der Formalismus in der Ethik, pp. io y 248. 



similar to a thing" (dinghafte Einheit von Wertqualitaten, 
p. 15). Goods and things are equally primal data: we 
cannot assert that a good is the foundation of a thing 
(as, for example, Mach or Bergson does), or that a thing 
is the foundation of a good (p. 16). 

Scheler determines the self-sufficiency of the content 
of values by stressing the fact that values can be given 
in consciousness apart from their bearers. Thus a sensory 
quality, for example a red colour, may be perceived 
without the object to which it belongs; similarly, such 
values as "noble, dreadful, terrible" sometimes enter our 
consciousness separated from those goods which are their 
bearers, and are perceived even before the goods them- 
selves (p. 12). A child, for example, perceives "kindness" 
or "animosity" in the face bent over his crib when he 
does not differentiate the faces themselves. 

Values are perceived not by theoretic but by emotional 
-intentional functions, by the activities of feeling (FiMen). 
Analysing these experiences, Scheler distinguishes in 
them, as in the theoretic activities, the intentional func- 
tion and the content or "appearance." It is Erscheinung 
in a sense similar to that given to this term by Stumpf in 
his treatise Erscheinungen und Furiktionen. In the function 
of feeling (Fuhleri) the value "appears" before me in a 
similar manner to that in which the object or thing in 
the function of perception appears before me. Here we 
must distinguish the "feeling of something" (Fuhlen von 
Etwas) and the state itself that serves as the content of 
feeling (Gefuhlsgegenstand} for example, the feeling of 
pain and the pain itself which I "bear" or "experience" 
or "suffer" or "relish" (p. 263), This theory that values 


Value and Existence 

are perceived by means of feeling, as a special function 
directed upon them, Scheler calls "emotional intuitivism." 

From all that has been said it becomes clear that 
Scheler is a determined defender of the objectivity of 
values. It is true some special form of perceiving is needed 
by which values may be discovered (p. 272), but the exist- 
ence of the many values there are is not at all connected 
with the psycho-physical organization of man, and does 
not even presuppose the age or subject: values exist in all 
nature (p. 273). By asserting the objectivity of values, 
Scheler also defends the existence of absolute values. 

N. Hartmann in many essential points agrees with 
Scheler. Values, he says, are not laws, but objective 
formations possessing material content. 1 They are ideal, 
they belong to the an sich seiende ideale Sphare (i, p. 165), 
their being possesses no "existence" (Existenz\ but their 
matter can be realized (i, pp. 175, 220). Values are 
essences (Wesenheiteri); they represent a specific quality 
of things, relations, or persons. They are those essences 
which cause everything that is connected with them to 
be valuable. They are accessible not to thought but to 
emotional, intuitive "Schau" (i, p. 177). However, the 
knowledge of them, as any other knowledge, has a 
theoretic character (i, p. 219). By defending the objec- 
tivity of values, N. Hartmann, as Scheler, asserts the 
existence of absolute values. 

I will also indicate the definition of value given by 

G. D. Gurvitch in his Fichtes System der konkreten Ethik. 

It differs materially from all preceding theories in that 

it connects value with the highest limit of existence. 

1 N. Hartmaim, Ethik (English trans . a i, pp. 169, 170). 



Gurvitch says that value is a moment of quantitative- 
qualitative positive infinity which is a priori. It is con- 
tinuously passing over into a positive qualitative infinity 
due to the ideal which determines and anticipates it 
(p. 278). This a priori ideal moment may also permeate 
the empirically real (p. 274). 

The theories we have given are enough to confuse a 
person inexperienced in philosophic investigation. If 
individuals who are highly gifted and meditative, and who 
have given all their lives to the solving of philosophic 
problems, come to such a difference of opinion, then, 
probably, the truth is hidden at a depth unattainable 
by the human mind. Some deduce the valuable aspect 
of the world from individually psychic experiences, others 
from non-psychic factors; some say that values are sub- 
jective, others say that they are objective:, some assert the 
relativity of all values, others also insist on the existence 
of absolute values; some say that value is a relation, others 
that it is quality; some think that values are ideal, others 
that they are real, still others say that they are neither 
ideal nor real (for example, Heyde). However, let us not 
fall into despair; different as these theories are, each 
one takes into consideration some aspect of value, and 
the problem of our investigation is to find the place for 
each element of value in a complete theory, which will 
not only answer the question as to what value is, but 
will also explain how such a multitude of different theories 
is possible. Spinoza rightly says veritas norma sui et 
falsi est. 

Let us begin with psychologism in the theory of value. 



Critical Considerations Preparing the Way 
for the Theory of Value of Ideal Realism 


The psychological theory of value asserts that any 
object, even an object of the outside world, has a value 
only in so far as it produces in the mental life of a sub- 
ject certain psychic experiences peculiar to the individual. 
According to some theories this experience is the feeling 
of pleasure (or displeasure); according to others, desire; 
according to others, the feeling of value. 

Let us begin with the theory that asserts that pleasure 
is the only intrinsic value (Selbstwert y Eigenwerf)^ that is, 
primary and fundamental value. From ancient times up 
to the present the theory in ethics that pleasure is the only 
motive and the final aim of all human deeds has been 
very popular. According to this theory all the objective 
content of our strivings, desires, and aspirations, realized 
by our acts, is only a means of reaching our real aim, the 
experience of pleasure. This hedonism, as well as other 
tendencies in ethics closely related to it (Eudaemonism 
and Utilitarianism), represents in its totality the hedonistic 
theory of value. Mill, for example, basing his theory 
on hedonism, says, "that which is in itself valuable is in 
itself desirable"; "such are only pleasure and freedom 
from pain." 1 And so according to Mill only pleasure 

1 Utilitarianism, loth ed., p. 10. 

Critical Considerations 

and the absence of pain are intrinsic values. All other 
values are derivative from this value, they serve as means 
to its attainment. 1 

For our critique of the hedonistic theory of value let 
us take a few examples of the act of will and analyse 
them in order to see their eidetical structure (i.e. to gain 
a WesensschaUy or "intuition of essence/* of the act of 
will, to use the terminology of Husserl's school). Suppose 
a hunter takes aim at a flying bird, shoots, and the bird 
falls to the ground. Or again, suppose a father explains 
to his child what an eclipse of the sun is, and from the 
animated, meaningful expression of the child's face sees 
that the explanation is understood. According to the 
hedonistic theory the objective content of an act (the 
good shot, the child's understanding) is only a means, 
while the real aim is the subjective feeling of pleasure 
for the agent acting. The "means" is only a subordinate 
aspect of the value; it is an element of an act and is not 
valuable in itself. For example, when I climb up a ladder 
to get an apple off a tree, the means, the climbing up 
the ladder, has no value in itself and may be experienced 
by me as a burden and tedious. 

Let us turn to the facts and in a rapid survey find 
out for ourselves what the real aim is and what is valuable 
for the agent acting. Is it true that a good shot, or a 
child's understanding, is only the instrument for producing 
my pleasure? If this question be put to a man who is merely 
observing concentratively and who has no preconceived 

1 Later it will often be necessary to distinguish primary and 
secondary values. Let us call the former intrinsic values and the latter 
instrumental values (Dienstwert, to use Stern's term). 


Value and Existence 

theories full of wrong assumptions, the question itself will 
produce an unpleasant impression of some perversion. It 
is all too evident that the objective content of the act is 
itself the valuable aim, and that it is not a means or 
instrument at all. The animated face of the child, full 
of understanding, this embodied spiritual and material 
understanding reached by him is the valuable aim, is 
that on which my interest is concentrated. But as to my 
own satisfaction, having reached my aim I do not care 
at all; I do not concentrate on that, do not live in it. If 
I make a series of movements, one following rapidly 
after another as, for example, in tennis I have no time 
to experience my feeling of pleasure due to the good 
shots, and do not care about the pleasure. It is more 
interesting to continue to play the game than to enjoy 
the satisfaction. If in some magic way the objective 
contents of the act were removed and the feeling of 
satisfaction remained and continued, how weary and 
empty our life would be! We would be extremely dis- 
satisfied with our feeling of satisfaction, and would be 
constantly looking for other contents of the activities of 

The objective content of the striving is clearly the 
real aim. (This content in some cases belongs to the 
system of the outer world, e.g. a good shot; in other 
cases, however, to the inner life of the agent, e.g. learning 
a language.) The objective content is that which attracts 
and is valued, whereas the feeling of satisfaction is only 
an indicator, a sign of reaching our aim. It is the final, 
self-evident stage of the act of the will. When we strive for 
something, we desire that it should finally be reached, we 


Critical Considerations 

seek success which is expressed in the feeling of satisfaction^ 
but we do not want unsuccess which is marked by a feel- 
ing of dissatisfaction. However, success means possession 
of the objective content, not possession of the feeling of 
success. Such a structure of the act of will is its essence 
(Wesen\ its ados. The kw expressing this structure of 
the act of will is not established by induction, but by the 
analysis of at least one example of the act of the will, and 
by the intuition of the ideal structure of its essence 
coordinated in a law. 1 

Thus the theory of hedonistic motivation (Eudae- 
monism, etc.) contains an undisputed truth. But this 
truth is not rich in significance. It reduces itself almost 
to a tautology and does not include what hedonism 
asserts. Our striving for anything is certainly likewise 
a striving for the successful solution of the problem. 
The sign of success is the feeling of satisfaction, but this 
feeling of satisfaction is a mere sign of reaching our aim 
and is not the aim itself. Spencer, in discussing the 
theories which assert that the aim of an act is not the feel- 
ing of satisfaction but the objective content of the deed, 
says that these theories take the means for the end. How- 
ever, these theories are right, whereas Spencer made a 
mistake from the opposite direction, so to speak. He 
took the sign of reaching the aim for the aim itself. This 
mistake may be compared to that of a man who, when 
he is watching soldiers shoot at a target and sees the 

1 According to Scheler and N. Hartmann, such an insight is 
knowledge a priori. According to the system of logic developed in 
my book, Handbuch der Logik ("Die unmittelbare Verifizierung der 
Urteile/' 73~7 8 .)> & is a ^ st of i ntuition ***&*&& establishing 
the common situation. 


Value and Existence 

waving of a flag that shows that the marksman has hit 
the target, decides that the reason for the shooting is 
not the hitting of the mark but the waving of the flag. 
" Certainly the feeling of pleasure at reaching the aim 
is also a positive value. When it is experienced, it raises 
the value of reaching the objective content,, but still 
its value is something which is secondary and comple- 
mentary to the value of the success itself. 

The theory of the significance of pleasure given 
above is expressed by many philosophers and is given 
sometimes in almost identical words. So, for example, 
V. Solovyof develops it in his Justification of the Good 
(English trans., pp. 117-19) and his Critique of Abstract 
Principles, F. Paulsen in his A System of Ethics (p. 251), 
Miinsterberg in his The Eternal Values (pp. 65 ff.). 1 
G. E. Moore reminds us in his Principia Ethica of Plato's 
dialogue, The Philebus, in which it is persuasively proved 
that pleasure is not the only good. Plato shows that 
pleasure without memory for example, without con- 
clusions of reasoning about the future is not a good. 
Pleasure, he says, is desirable, but the consciousness of 
pleasure is still more desirable; therefore pleasure is not 
the only good. Further, by the same method Plato shows 
that even the consciousness of pleasure is not the only 
good, since, for example, the pleasure experienced in the 
presence of other people is higher than pleasure experi- 
enced in solitude. 

Moore makes some very fine observations about the 
combination of the value of pleasure and pain with 

1 See also my Die Grundhhren der Psychologic vom Standpunkte 
des Voluntarismus, chap. vi. 


Critical Considerations 

other values. He says that the beauty which we see 
and which gives pleasure is a higher value than the iso- 
lated pleasure of beauty. We would not want to live a 
life filled with the feeling of pleasure if there were no 
objective content to the pleasure. The mere increase of 
the intensity of pleasure without the objective content 
is not a great good; but the increase of suffering, even 
without objective content, is a great evil. On the other 
hand, pleasure in combination with an objective content 
considerably increases the positive value of the whole, 
whereas pain added to a negative objective content 
increases the negative character of the whole only to 
the extent of its own pleasure. If the feeling of pleasure 
is directed to some disgusting, unbecoming content, then 
from this there arises a whole which is a greater evil 
than the unbecoming content in itself, and the increase 
of pleasure in this case is an increase of evil. And con- 
versely, the addition of suffering sometimes does not 
increase, but rather lessens the negative value of the 
whole. For example, if a disgusting deed is accompanied 
by the suffering of punishment, then the negative value 
becomes less than if the deed had remained unpunished. 1 
All that has been said about the feeling of pleasure 
following a deed may be repeated in a slightly changed 
form about the feeling of pleasure preceding a deed, and 
included in the preliminary judgment of the aim of the 
deed. This feeling of pleasure is not the aim of the deed 
and it is not it that first creates the value of the objective 
content of the striving; it is only a subjective way of 
experiencing the objective value; it is its sign. The 

1 Principia Ethica, ist ed pp. 94, 213. 


Value and Existence 

same should be said also of the feeling of value which;, 
as Meinong rightly pointed out, should be distinguished 
from the feeling of pleasure caused by the object. The 
feeling of value is the subjective clothing in which the 
objective values appear in our mind. 

If the theory of Meinong given in his first work on 
value is understood as the theory that the property of 
an object coordinated with the feeling of value has value 
only because it is connected with this feeling, then his 
theory is not adequate; it takes a subjective sign of 
value for the value itself. Besides the feeling of pleasure 
(pain) and the feeling of value, there are many other 
feelings which have the character of subjective experi- 
ences of positive and negative objective values. Such, 
for example, are the feelings of trust, of triumphant 
exultation, of serene quiet, and so on; or the feelings 
of dread, anxious restlessness, gloomy irritableness, and 
so on. Each of these feelings has a value in itself; but 
more than that it is a sign of a value that lies deeper, a 
value of the object of the feeling itself. 

Feeling is the clothing in which objective values 
appear in consciousness. As far as desires are concerned, 
they are a consequence of value. Striving, inclination, want, 
and desire are conditioned by the value of an object, and 
are not the source of the value, as Ehrenfels wrongly 
asserts. 1 Duty (obligation) stands in the same relation to 
value. There is no obligation in the value itself. Accord- 

1 See the objections to Ehrenfels' theory and to the deduction of 
values from desire given by Meinong in his Psych.-eth. Untersu- 
chungen, pp. 15^ 70. Also his Zur Grundhgung der allgemeinen Wert- 
theorie, pp. 37-42. Also Heyde 3 Wen., p. 109. As to desires and value, 
see M. Scheler, Der Formalismus in der Ethik 3 p. 364. 


Critical Considerations 

ing to Miinsterberg, obligation is only a possible conse- 
quence of value in those cases where in our behaviour 
we have to choose between several contradictory values. 1 
In the same way Heyde also objects to the theory of 
Rickert. Rickert's theory is that value is validity (Geltung). 
Heyde shows that validity (Geltung) is not a characteristic 
of value in general at all., because it, like obligation, 
exists only where there is value to be realized for 
example., a moral request not yet fulfilled. 2 

All the theories of value mentioned in this chapter, 
except the theory of Rickert, are psychological. All of 
them take the solving of the problem of value as a 
problem of psychology, and all of them make a mistake 
analogous to that which is so often made in gnoseology 
in solving the problem of truth. True knowledge can be 
reached by the subject only by the help of the individu- 
ally subjective psychic acts of attention, differentiation, 
representation, reminiscence, discussion, etc., and also 
only in connection with the non-intellectual functions 
of will and feeling. Investigation of all of these psychic 
acts involved in the discovery of truth belongs to the 
psychology of knowledge^ but the psychology of knowledge 
does not answer the question as to the properties of 
truth itself. The study of truth itself, especially its 
structure, is taken up by gnoseology and logic, sciences 
which investigate not the subjective psychic side of 
consciousness but its objective side. They have nothing 
in common with psychology because, for example, the 
logical structure of the judgment or syllogism is some- 

1 Milnsterberg 3 The Eternal Values^ pp. 51-7. 

2 Heyde, Wert 3 p. 71. 


Value and Existence 

thing toto genere different from psychic acts, experiences, 
etc. It is the greatest error to mix gnoseological and 
logical problems and the logical subject-matter of research 
with the psychological. By hard work for over half a 
century at the hands of very many great scholars modern 
philosophy has reached a clear separation of these two 
spheres. Hence, when we meet the same mistake in the 
theory of value, we can afford not to lose too much time 
in the task of proving that the psychological theories of 
value are wrong. The psychology of valuation and will 
is a science of the psychic processes connected with 
values, but does not extend as far as a science of the 
values themselves. 

As is true in the case of gnoseological and logical 
problems the followers of the intuitional theory e.g. 
Scheler, the followers of Remke, and also the author 
of this book can escape falling into psychologism 
especially well. Indeed, those who believe in the in- 
tuitional theory say that besides the psycho-individual 
experiences of the subject there may be also present in 
consciousness many parts of the outside world and 
different kinds of existence material existence, the 
psychic existence of others, ideal being, etc. Under- 
standing the structure of consciousness in this way, it 
is natural to look for values not in a subjective feeling 
caused by them but deeper, and moving in the direction 
of the objects of the feelings. This is exactly what Heyde 
has done. For him value is found neither in the subject 
nor in the object; it is the relation between the subject 
and the object, or better, it is the relation between the 
subject and that property of an object which serves as 


Critical Considerations 

one part of the relation. Value has its foundation in 
these absolute properties of an object, but only in so 
far as they are connected with a subject. However, value 
is not composed of any properties of the object itself, 
but rather of the relation in which the object stands 
to "special states of the subject" (p. 172), specifically to 
the feeling of pleasure and the organic sensations 
(Innenempfindungen) out of which the feeling of value 
is built. It follows from this definition that if there 
were no feeling of value, then no object would have a 
value that is, it would have no such relation to a subject 
as is value, according to Heyde. In other words, the 
theory of Heyde, materially, is the same as the early 
theory of Meinong. Although it is not psychological, it 
falls under the same criticism as the psychological theory, 
only it is stated in a different way. Indeed, the whole 
structure of valuable existence Heyde outlines in the 
same way as Meinong does personal values. The dis- 
tinction and originality of Heyde consist only in that 
seeing the whole as consisting of three parts, the object, 
the relation, and the feeling of value on the part of the 
subject, he gave the name "value" to the middle part of 
the whole, the relation, and developed a corresponding 
concept of value, quite consistently working it out and 
showing that the theory removing value from both the 
subject and the object frees us from the extremes of both 
subjectivism and objectivism. Nevertheless, the objections 
which were urged against the theory of Meinong remain 
in force against Heyde also, only with the following 
difference: Meinong took the sign of value (the feeling of 
value) for the value, whereas Heyde took the relation of 


Value and Existence 

the valuable existence to the sign of value for the 

As will be seen farther on, I do not deny that value 
is only possible where there is a relation to a subject, 
or better a person, but this relation is much deeper; it 
penetrates the whole structure of personality and of the 
world much more than does a relation to the feeling of 

Moreover, no matter how much we agree with Heyde 
that the concept of value is very closely connected with 
the concept of relation (actually following Stern I think 
that the concept of value is connected with the concept 
of meaning (Bedeutung) and relation is included here 
only in so far as every meaning contains a relation in 
itself), 'still we cannot accept as true the basic assertion 
of Heyde that "value is a relation." Illustrating his theory 
by the case of a beautiful vase which awakens in the 
subject who sees it the feeling of value, Heyde reasons 
in the following manner. Before us is : (i) a complicated 
part of the world, a valuable object (Wertobjekf), a 
beautiful vase; (2) a subject experiencing the feeling of 
value; and (3) the relation between the subject and the 
object. Which of the elements of this whole is value? 
Only the relation of the object to the subject, or precisely 
the connection with the feeling of value is value, says 
Heyde. But as far as the valuable object is concerned, it 
is not the value; it only contains in itself the basis of value, 
the value ground (Wertgrund) that is, qualities, or in 
general such particularities as due to which it is connected 
with the feeling of value of the subject. True enough, 
we often say, "The vase is a value," but this is only a vague 


Critical Considerations 

expression which means, "The vase has value.," i.e. it is 
the source of the relation to the subject pointed out 

Heyde further points out that there are two types of 
relational concepts: one type, such as position and like- 
ness, shows relation (etwas das Beziehung ist\ the other 
type, such as father, teacher, indicates something that 
includes the relation in itself (etwas das Beziehung hat). 
Value according to his theory belongs to the first type, 
it is a relation, and the valuable object belongs to the 
second type, it stands in relation. Hence, according to 
Heyde, value has no content We can say of a content that 
it is valuable, but only in the sense that it has a relation 
called value. This depriving value of substance (de- 
materialization) is doubtful. It can only be done by taking 
value out of the object in the way Heyde does when he 
says that a valuable object has value because of its 
relation to that which is foreign to it and outside of its 
sphere; the object has value because of its relation to the 
feeling experienced by a subject. Later, when we sub- 
stitute for Heyde's relation the concept of meaning (and 
not simply for the feeling of value alone), it will be 
proved that the content of existence itself is in a certain 
sense a value also. With this understanding value is 
to a certain extent made substantial. It becomes onto- 
logical. The concept of value becomes analogous, if not 
to the concept of father (or teacher, etc.), then at least 
to the concept of fatherhood understood in a certain 
particular way. Indeed, the word fatherhood can express 
two different concepts: first, the concept of relation 
between the person A and his child B, and second, the 

Value and Existence 

ontological content itself of the person A Including in 
itself the relation to B. We think of the concept of value 
as similar to this second concept of fatherhood. Thought 
of in this way it represents a particular category that 
cannot be brought under any other category, and there- 
fore cannot be defined in the usual way, i.e. by indicating 
the proximate genus and the differentiae. In this lies an 
indirect indication of the correctness of the method 
chosen by us, whereas Heyde's theory undoubtedly 
involves a falsity. Indeed., in the beginning of his work 
Heyde agrees that value as something elementary and 
primal cannot be defined in the usual way, but can be 
defined by showing its relation to the other elements 
of the world (p. 31), but he finishes his work by giving 
the definition of value through the proximate genus and the 
differentiae, i.e. he includes the concept of value under 
the concept of relation. Later, when I shall try to give the 
definition of the concept of value, it will be shown that it 
cannot be decomposed into genus and the differentiae. 


The thought that value is ontological and substantial 
leads us to the question as to whether we should agree 
without any reservations with the assertion of Scheler 
that value is not a relation but a quality, that value is 
fully objective. Of course, according to Scheler value is 
a quality in a very unusual sense of the word. It is a 
quality not of an object (as, for example, blue is a quality 
of the sky), but a quality of the Good (Guf). "The Good 
is the substantial unity of the value qualities." Examples 
of such value qualities are expressed in the words 


Critical Considerations 

"pleasing, delightful, tender, charming, noble, pure, 
exalted, kind, evil, shy/' etc. The value qualities repre- 
sent a special kingdom of objects which are given by 
intuition (anschaulich\ or may be reduced to a special 
datum. Scheler says that they cannot be defined or 
reasoned out from earmarks and properties which them- 
selves do not belong to the realm of values. As blue things 
are blue, and their blueness cannot be reduced to some- 
thing that is not blue, so kind deeds are kind. 1 Value, 
according to Scheler, is to such an extent a special datum 
that sometimes it is perceived even before the perception 
of the bearer of the value takes place (p. 12). 

The "material" data possessing content, described 
by Scheler, certainly are values; however, his theory that 
values are a kingdom of such qualities, that, after we 
subtract them the remainder is not a value, cannot be 
accepted. The first reason for not accepting this theory 
is that if values were only such a content as the qualities 
"delightful," "tender," etc., then there would be no 
reason for emphasizing them as ideal. But Scheler stresses 
them as ideal, and indeed, experience reveals to a person 
with long practice in examining such problems that value 
is something ideal or else at least includes in itself an ideal 
moment as something substantial. Our second objection 
may be examined in this way: just imagine that we are 
living in a kingdom of "delightfulness, tenderness, 
exaltedness," etc., without anything being delightful, 
tender, exalted, etc.; such severed values would depre- 

1 Max Scheler 3 Der Formalismus in der Ethik, p. 15^ 1. 9. In exactly 
the same way Moore writes about the good as an intrinsic value. 
Good is a simple and indefinable quality. Good is good in the same 
way as yellow is yellow (Principia Ethica> ist ed. ; pp. 6-9). 


Value and Existence 

date, and would even become disgusting shadows. From 
this it becomes clear that the values pointed out by 
Scheler are only values which are complementary and 
symptomatic to the values of their bearers, so that the 
bearers themselves are also values and basic values 
besides. And indeed., literally any content of existence is 
a positive or negative value not because of some one of its 
own separate qualities^ but because of its whole existing 
content For example, the wonderful pure blue colour 
in the spectrum is a value not only for its wonderfulness, 
but also for the blue colour alone. This observation leads 
us to the thought that existence itself, esse itself, is not 
only existence but also a value. Such a theory has been 
held by philosophers of great importance in the history 
of philosophy. 

St. Augustine, on the basis of God having created 
every existence and existence only existing by the will 
of God, asserts : "in so far as anything exists, it is good" 
(in quantum est quidquid est, bonum est. De vera 
religione, chap, xi, 21). Evil can be brought into the 
goodness of existence by spoiling existence. In such a 
case the good in the object lessens, but it cannot be 
entirely removed from any existing thing because the 
existence itself would then cease. 1 

According to Dionysius the Areopagite (Pseudo- 
Dionysius), existence is only possible on the basis of it 
participating in goodness to some extent (see, for example, 
in his Concerning the Divine Names, chap, iv, 4). Albertus 
Magnus and St. Thomas Aquinas assert that the terms 

1 Si autem omni bono privdbuntur> omnino non erunt. Confess., 
bk. vii 3 chap. xii 3 8 j De natura boni contra Manichaeos 3 bk. i 3 chap, xvii, 


Critical Considerations 

ens and bonum relate to the same thing only used in 
different relations. 1 

According to Erigena., who in this question refers to 
Dionysius the Areopagite^ everything exists in so far as 
it participates in goodness ("in quantum participant 
bonitatem" De divisione naturae, bk. iii, 3). 

In modern philosophy Spinoza with sharp discrimina- 
tion identifies existence and perfection. According to 
this theory the concepts of "reality" and "perfection" 
are coincident. "By reality and perfection I understand 
the same thing" ("Per realitatem et perfectionem idem 
intelligo" Ethica ii. Definition vi). In his letter to I. 
Hudde he says that "perfection consists in existence and 
imperfection in the shortage of existence" ("Perfectionem 
in rw esse et imperfectionem in privatione rov esse 

I will examine this theory of the identification of 
being and value in the form it took in the correspondence 
of Leibniz and Arnold Eckhart, the Professor of 


The exchange of opinions between Leibniz and Eckhart 
began April 5, 1677, with a discussion as to the concept 
of perfection. There was a difference of opinion on this 

1 Albertus Magnus, Summa theologica, pt. i, tr. vi, qu. xxviii; 
St. Thomas Aquinas: "existence in so far as it is existence, exists 
'in aciUy but any actuality is 'perfectio quaedam* "; "perfectum vero 
habet rationem appetibilis y et boni" (Summa theologica^ pt. i, qu. v, 
art. u"i; pt. i, qu. xlix, art. iii. 

2 Epistola xxxvi, Opera, iv, ed. C. Gebhardt. 


Value and Existence 

question. Moreover, a correspondence started which 
ended with the admission by Leibniz that most of his 
objections had disappeared. Leibniz's final opinion is 
not given in the correspondence, but Eckharfs theory is 
given quite clearly and this I shall examine for the most 
part. 1 

Eckhart asserts that perfection is any kind of reality. 
Ens (being that exists) and perfectio are differentiated 
by the intellect alone (sola ratione). The difference between 
ens and perfectum is only a distinction of reason (distinctio 
rationis). In other words., existence and perfection are 
the same thing, only examined by the mind from different 
points of view. Leibniz objects to this, for if this is true 
even pain would be perfection. In his opinion perfection 
is not only esse, but bene esse that is, perfection is not 
simply an existence, but a positively valuable existence. 
He explains that bene esse is "the quantity or grade of 
reality or existence" ("Quantitas seu gradus realitatis sen 
essentiae" p. 225). Formulated in this way the thought 
of Leibniz certainly is not satisfactory: the degree of 
reality can be a positive value only in the case that reality 
itself is a positive value. Hence farther on in the dispute 
Eckhart easily forces Leibniz to approach his own 
position. Eckhart further develops his identification of 
existence and perfection, pointing out that the difference 
between these two concepts is simply the following: 
both ens and perfectum presuppose something in objects, 
but if I think of something as ens I have in mind an 
attribute without relation to its opposite, that is non- 

1 Die philosophischen Schriften von G. W. Leibniz^ edited by 
Gerhardt, i a pp. 214-18, 221. 


Critical Considerations 

existence; the same ens I think of as perfectum, if I 
examine it in its relation to non-existence and prefer 
it to non-existence (p. 228). From this it follows that 
the comparative degree "better/' "more perfect" can be 
used where there is more reality, while the superlative 
degree "the best," "the most perfect" is that which 
contains within itself the whole of reality (p. 229"). 

Leibniz takes up this thought and says that in this 
metaphysical sense even in a suffering person there is 
really more perfection than in a person who is not suffer- 
ing, and also not enjoying anything, but is dull and 
indifferent (p. 230). Eckhart develops this thought in 
detail, and says that suffering contains in itself feeling 
(sensus) which except for its "sharpness" or "bitterness" 
has a positive content, and hence in this its own aspect 
is perfection. But in addition to this positive content 
suffering contains within itself the presence of some- 
thing we do not want, or the absence of something 
wanted. This negative moment is imperfection; it is the 
insufficiency of the power of our will (p. 232). The dis- 
cussion was not finished. In his last letter Leibniz 
remarks that existence itself is not valuable, but that it 
is the sense-experience of existence that is valuable, i.e. 
in our day we would say conscious existence. 

The general result of the discussion is that any con- 
tent of existence is a positive value in comparison with 
non-existence. However, we cannot speak of a perfect 
identity of existence and value, because existence as a 
value is looked upon in a different correlation from that 
of simple existence. Moreover, the difference between 
existence and positive value comes out more clearly if 


Value and Existence 

we pass over from the examination of the isolated 
abstract contents of existence to the same contents., but 
taken in the complex concrete system of existence. 
To be sure, every content of existent A taken abstractly 
is a positive value in so far as it represents something 
moving away from non-existence 5 or reversely^ in so far 
as its content is approaching full reality,, i.e. the absolute 
fulness of being. But let us take this same content of 
existence no longer isolated and abstracted from the 
world 5 but in a system. We must make such an examina- 
tion because every existent in reality exists only in the 
system of the world. Taken as a part of the world> existent 
A may happen to be leading other kinds of existence to 
destruction, and thus leading to the lowering of the 
existing contents of the world system. In such a case A 
is bringing an "approachment" to non-existence into 
the world, a departure from the fulness of being. If 
positive value is existence in its significance of departing 
from non-existence., and approaching the fulness of being, 
then A whom we are examining is not a positive but a 
negative value. Hence Leibniz is right: bene esse and 
male esse must be differentiated. 


After this, when we speak of perfection that is, of 
positive value we will take existence not in its relation 
to non-existence but in relation to the absolute fulness of 
being. Perfect non-existence is really only a problem of 
thought; it is an ideally established limit. Perfect non- 
existence cannot be given; only a greater or less approach 
to perfect destruction is possible. 


Critical Considerations 

There is another even more essential consideration 
that induces us to discuss existence in its correlation 
with the absolute fulness of being. In religious experience 
the absolute fulness of being is given as God. Hence 
the theory of perfection explained can be formulated 
thus: positive value is existence in its significance for 
approaching God and the Divine fulness of being. 1 From 
this formulation it is clear that the study of existence in 
its correlation with the highest limit gives us an absolutely 
obvious truth in regard to values and serves us as a basis 
for more diverse and more significant inferences than in 
correlation with non-existence. 

Indeed;, a communion with the absolute fulness of 
being, even though most distant, a vision of the Divine 
Being as "through a glass darkly," is accompanied by 
an undoubtedly obvious discovery that God is the 
absolute perfection. His existence contains within itself 
an absolute self-justification, an unquestionable right to 
be preferred above everything else; God is that which is 
unquestionably worth existing. The symptom of the 
absolute character of this value is "rejoicing in the Lord/' 
the highest satisfaction that comes simply from the 
thought that such beauty and such goodness exist, even 
if I do not belong to His Kingdom. Out of the infinite 
number of cases of such a religious experience we shall 
give one of the visions of the German mystic, Seuse. 
Once on St. Agnes Day he was in a condition of extreme 
depression, when he saw and heard something inde- 
scribable. It was "something without form or species, 

1 As to God and His relation to the world, see my books : The 
World as an Organic Whole, and Freedom of the Will. 


Value and Existence 

but it contained within itself the joyous charm of all 
forms and species" ; "it was sweetness flowing out of the 
ever-existing life in quiet feeling"; "if this is not the 
Kingdom of Heaven, what can be called by this name? 
No suffering that can be expressed in words is worthy of 
such joy, a joy that is destined for permanent possession." 1 
An experience of the directly opposite type., an 
approach to absolute destruction and extreme suffering, 
was experienced in a dream by Father P. Florensky. 
"There were no images, only purely inward experiences. 
A darkness without a ray of light, almost palpably dense, 
surrounded me. Some force was dragging me to the 
brink; I felt that this was the limit of God's being, and 
that beyond it was absolute nothingness. I wanted to 
cry out and could not. I knew that in another moment I 
should be thrust into outer darkness. Darkness began 
to fill my whole being. I almost lost consciousness of 
myself, and I knew that this was absolute, metaphysical 
annihilation. In utter despair I cried out in a voice unlike 
my own: 'Out of the deep have I cried unto Thee; O 
Lord, hear my prayer.' My whole soul was poured out 
in these words. Some powerful hands seized me just 
as I was sinking and threw me far away from the abyss. 
The shock was sudden and violent. All at once I found 
myself in my usual surroundings, in my own room; it 
was as though from mystical non-being I was transferred 
to ordinary everyday existence. Then I suddenly felt 
that I was before the face of God and woke up, bathed in 
a cold sweat. Almost four years have passed since then, 
but I still shudder at the mention of the words second 

1 H. $euse 3 Deutsche Schriften 3 i 3 p. 9 (ed. E. Dicderichs). 

Critical Considerations 

death, of outer darkness, and of casting out of the kingdom. 
Even now I tremble all over when I read., 'Let me not 
be alone except in Thee who hast given me my breath, 
my life, my gladness, my salvation,' that is, let me not 
be in the darkness which is outside of Life, Breath, and 
Gladness. And even now with sorrow and excitement I 
hear the words of the Psalmist, 'Cast me not away from 
thy presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me. 3 "* 

If we bring together the opposite extremes of the 
absolute fulness of being, and the infernal nearness to 
absolute destruction, there is exhibited with particular 
brightness the essence of positive and negative values. 
The Absolute fulness of the Divine Being is absolute 
perfection, worthy of unconditional approval something 
of such a character that it not only exists, but is worth 
existing. It is Goodness itself, not only in the sense of 
morality, but in the all-embracing sense of the word, the 
First Principle which Plato called TO ayaOov. It stands 
"on the other side of Being," not because It does not 
exist, but because there is no distinction between being 
and value in It. It is existence as Existing Meaning, 
Existing Significance itself. 2 It is impossible to seek any 
other definition of the good except that of pointing 
to the Good Itself; it is impossible because the Good is 

1 P. Florensky, The Pillar and Foundation of Truth (in Russian). 
From a translation by Natalie A. Duddington in the Slavonic Review, 
iiij No. j y pp. 99, 100. By permission of the Editors. 

2 W. Stern defines any intrinsic value (Selbstwert) as "in sich 
ruhende Bedeutung, der in sich Erfullung suchende und findende Sinn" 
("Meaning that rests in itself; purpose, seeking realization and 
finding it in itself," Wert-philosophze, p. 43). He adds that here we 
have to use imperfect descriptions to tell about that which is really 
*' already indefinable" 


Value and Existence 

primal. It Is the absolute positive value, an intrinsic value 
(self-value). Even the smallest derivative good becomes 
good only by communing with the Good Itself. Therefore, 
our further investigation of values will consist of an 
examination of the different moments, ways, and means 
of the communion of the world with It. Everything that 
is connected in any degree with the Good, that is with 
God, as the Absolute Fulness of Being, contains within 
itself the justification and worthiness of its existence. 
This positive value of that which is connected in any 
degree with the Good has, as the symptom of its depen- 
dence upon this participation in various ways, an infinite 
number of diverse positive feelings the feelings of 
pleasure, delight, exaltedness, quietness, belief, hope, 
and so on. These feelings make us foretaste the fulness 
of bliss of the Divine Being. On the other hand, everything 
that is an obstacle to the realization of the Absolute 
Fulness of Existence is not worth existing. Such negative 
values are expressed symptomatically in the negative 
feelings of suffering, repulsion, lowness, insipidness, 
dread, restlessness, forsakenness, and so on. These 
feelings make us foretaste the extreme sufferings of the 
hellish disintegration of being. 

In addition to the divine fulness of being as the Good 
Itself with positive and negative values thought of as 
depending on It, we can also try to imagine a system of 
existence in which nothing would have positive or negative 
value. Such an imagined indifferent existence we shall 
now examine particularly. Its examination will reveal to 
us the essential conditions of the possibility of value 
in general, and at the same time will deepen our under- 

Critical Considerations 

standing of the nature of value. In making this examina- 
tion we shall also find out whether being can really exist 
without value a or whether being without value is only 
built up in imagination as a subjective project, the product 
of a mental experiment. If being cannot exist without 
value, then this will mean that the condition of existence 
and the conditions of value either correspond or else 
are necessarily connected with each other in such a way 
that existence must be either of good quality or the 
opposite; but it cannot be indifferent. 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 


Let us imagine a world in which everything that exists 
should be deprived of existence for itself and existence 
for others, i.e. the kind of a world in which there 
would be no experience of self and experience of other s^ in 
which consciousness would be impossible. Let us imagine a 
world consisting of the atoms of Democritus without the 
existence in it of living, feeling, and conscious beings. 
In such a world there would be nothing except hard 
particles that move in space, strike each other by chance, 
and rebound. This changes their velocity and direction 
of movement, but all these changes occur accidentally, 
without sense and without reason. We would have to say 
of such existence that it does not exist for itself or for 
anybody else. It has no meaning for itself or for anybody 
else. It is also clear that it has no value. 

Now let us ask ourselves if a world can exist in which 
nothing that exists lives for itself and experiences the 
existence of others, a world in which nothing has any 
meaning for itself or for others. Such a world, as we 
find it in the multitude of Democritus' atoms, fails to 
possess that particular form of unity by which parts of 
the whole, its aspects or elements, are not imprisoned 
within the space and time interval which they occupy, 
or are not locked in general in their content as separate 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

particles, but rather transcend the limits of the space 
and time which they occupy as well as their own content 
of existence, so that they can exist for themselves and for 
others in the form of personal experience and of being 
experienced by other beings. Such a world contains 
within itself only limited and particular contents of 
existence, i.e. contents subordinated to the law of identity, 
contradiction, and the excluded middle; such contents 
cannot of themselves transcend their own limits. Examin- 
ing such contents of existence separately, it is impossible 
to understand the transcendence by them of their own 
limits, such a transcendence as the experience of them- 
selves and experience of them by other beings. We cannot 
even understand such a transcendence as the forming of 
any kind of relations among them, such as the relations 
of proximity, distance, before, after, identity, similarity, 
difference, causality, etc. However, apart from these rela- 
tions, especially such relations as identity and contra- 
diction, these definite, limited contents cannot exist; 
they cannot exist on their own account. Hence it follows 
that they are not self-sufficient; they presuppose some 
other more fundamental being which forms their founda- 
tion as definite contents, in accordance with the relation 
of identity and contradiction, and realizes them with all 
their interrelations in accordance with the forms of 
space and time. To avoid a regressus in infinitum, the 
ground of these definite contents and their relations, 
the ground which lies on a higher level than they, may 
be thought of only as a principle that is super-temporal) 
super* spatial, and super-logical, i.e. not subordinated to 
formal logical definitions, but metalogical. This principle 


Value and Existence 

Is not only ideal, but also concretely-ideal existence. It is 
the creative source of real existence, i.e. of events that 
have temporal and spatio-temporal existence. 1 

In themselves events occupy only a particular interval 
of time and a position in space. They can transcend the 
limits of a given space and a given time interval (e.g. the 
motion of a mass, or the sense of danger) only in so far 
as they are so closely connected with a concretely-ideal 
existent that they form with it one whole, and existing 
in it they are not isolated but are related to each other 
and have a meaning for each other. This is possible only 
if the concretely-ideal existent creates real processes as 
its own manifestations. This concretely-ideal existent is 
not only the cause of events, but also their possessor 
and bearer. 

The concretely-ideal existent as the creative source 
and the bearer of its own manifestations may be termed 
substance or subject. To make it more concrete and com- 
prehensible I will call it the substantival agent. 

An example of the substantival agent familiar to each 
one of us through direct observation, a subject that 
creates real being, is our own "self" or "ego." Each of 
my feelings, desires, and actions belongs to the sphere 
of the real, i.e. temporal existence, and therefore differs 
radically from my ego, which is super-temporal and 
super-spatial that is, is concretely-ideal. Indeed, my 
feelings appear and later disappear; they have a definite 
flow in time. Repulsions that I perform have, besides a 

1 By the term ideal existence we indicate everything that has no 
spatial and temporal form, by concretely-ideal existence we mean an 
ideal existence which produces events and processes, i.e. real 

The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

time interval, a particular spatial form as well. But my 
ego itself, the cause of these events, has no spatial form; 
it is not linear, not a surface, not cubic, etc. Likewise, 
my ego has no temporal form; it does not flow in time 
as do sensations and desires. It does not appear and 
disappear; it is super-temporal; it is a deep-lying inner 
existence, while sensations, desires, and actions are only 
temporal existence. Nevertheless, feelings, desires, and 
actions are most closely connected with the ego. They 
are Its manifestations, its experiences. When the ego 
creates them, they not only exist, but they exist for that 
ego, as that in which the ego lives, and in which the ego 
has existence for itself. The ego's experience of itself in 
its own manifestations Is something simpler than con- 
sciousness in which subject and object are separated and 
distinguished through the act of attention. It may be 
termed pre-consciousness., because it is a condition which 
makes consciousness possible, inasmuch as it already 
contains the most important elements of the structure 
of consciousness. In particular, pre-consciousness involves 
the presence of the ego and the ego's manifestations 
characterized by the ego's immanence in all of them. 
Hence, every manifestation transcends the limits of its 
own being, is immanent in every other, and is a meaning 
for the ego. 

The structure of existence which consists of the ego 
being immanent in all its manifestations, and of them 
existing for the ego, is not only pre-consciousness, on the 
basis of which consciousness and also purely theoretical 
activity may later develop, but it is also pre-feeling. 
Indeed, each element of existence is also a value in so 

E 65 

Value and Existence 

far as it Is a factor In the approach or movement away 
from the fulness of being. Included in the content of 
the life of a subject., each element of existence, together 
with its valuable aspect, exists for the subject as some- 
thing satisfying or dissatisfying him. In the developed 
conscious life of a subject this side of his manifestations 
is expressed in more or less complex and diverse feel- 
ings > positive or negative, whereas on the lower levels of 
life they are expressed in the elementary experience 
of accepting or rejecting^ which we termed pre-feeling, 
because due to Its simplicity pre-feeling stands lower on 
the scale than the conscious feelings of pleasure or dis- 
pleasure. Such elementary pre-conscious experiences may 
be termed psychoidal to distinguish them from conscious 
psychic states. 

Thus the existence of manifestations for the subject, 
which we called his experiences, is not simply theoretical 
but also practical existence for him. This practical 
existence is expressed in his feelings, or at least by 
something analogous to feelings. 1 

In the structure of real existence as we have described 
it, created as it is by the substantival agent, there are 
included the most important conditions of value, as 
the meaningful aspect of existence. These conditions are 
the connection between events by means of relation, the 
transcendence by events of their own limits, and their 

1 In S. Frank's book, The Soul of Man, this moment of experience 
is beautifully described; but it is observed as a symptom of the life 
of the soul y i.e. as belonging to the psychic sphere. According to my 
point of viewj only those responses belong to the psychic or psychoidal 
sphere which involve time but possess no spatial form. (Published in 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

existence for the agent-subject as his manifestations and 
experiences. It is by virtue of tins last condition that 
we may speak of the existence of a subject for itself in its 
own manifestations. 


We must, however, immediately remind ourselves that 
in the world there is not only one, but a multitude of 
substantival agents, each one with his own peculiar sphere 
of manifestations and experiences. This contention is 
established by immediate observation, which shows that 
the different events represent manifestations of different 
agents. For example, if I am holding up a heavy book 
of music for an artist and listen to his singing,, I imme- 
diately observe that attention is my manifestation, that 
singing is the manifestation of the artist, and that the 
pressure on my hand comes from the book. 

The fact that many manifestations are directed against 
one another,, that they possess a character of conflicting 
opposition and mutual oppression, serves as an indirect 
confirmation of the presence of many substantival agents. 
Such, for example, are the manifestations of hatred 
among people; such are the phenomena of physical 
mutual repulsion in space, etc. 

Manifestations of different substantival agents are not 
isolated one from another. The real existence which an 
agent creates is correlated not only with other manifesta- 
tions of the same agent, but with all the manifestations 
of other agents, forming one cosmos. The common 
framework of this cosmos is space, time, number, etc., 
forms in accordance with which each agent realizes his 

Value and Existence 

manifestations. The principles of these forms are non- 
temporal and non-spatial; consequently they are ideal 
principles. These principles are the subject-matter of 
the study of logic and mathematics. They differ from 
concretely-ideal principles, i.e. from substantival agents, 
by their limited definiteness, passiveness, and depen- 
dence. Indeed, these principles cannot form events by 
themselves, but only in so far as substantival agents 
create their manifestations in accordance with these 
principles. Therefore we can designate them as abstractly- 
ideal principles. They are numerically the same for all sub- 
stantival agents. Consequently, agents in their existence 
are not isolated from each other. Each agent possesses 
his own creative power of action; but all agents together, 
as bearers of the same abstractly-ideal principles, are 
welded into a unit. This welding together of them may 
be called their consubstantiality. 

The welding together of the agents of our kingdom 
of existence is profoundly different from that concrete 
unity which is thought of in the Christian dogma of the 
consubstantiality of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, 
who lovingly accept and adopt all of each other's content, 
and therefore live unanimously. The consubstantiality 
which we discovered in the world creates only abstract 
forms of unity, or the general framework of the cosmos. 
This general framework might contain the unanimity of 
love, inimical conflicting opposition, or unions egoistically 
based on the common advantage. Therefore such con- 
substantiality may be called abstract consubstantiality. 1 

1 As to the meaning of the concept of consubstantiality in the 
metaphysics that deals with the existence of the world 3 see The Pillar 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

Because of this welding together of the substantival 
agents in the form of abstract consubstantiality, the 
manifestations of each agent are correlated not only 
among themselves, but also with the manifestations of 
all other agents. Moreover, they are coordinated in such 
a manner that they exist not only for that agent who 
creates them as his own experience, but also for all other 
agents: in the world everything is immanent in every- 
thing else. 

Each agent's transcendence of the limits of his own 
manifestations and his embracing of all other agents 
and their manifestations is still not consciousness of 
the outer world, but it is an important condition for 
the development of such consciousness. Therefore it 
maybe called pre-consciousness (supra, p. 65). Due to this 
structure of existence the origination of consciousness 
and knowledge is possible on the higher levels of the 
development of life. Also in theoretical activity there is 
the possibility of intuition, the act of immediate con- 
templation and knowledge of the being of others ; and in 
the practical life of feeling and will we have the possi- 
bility of sympathy and love that is, taking to heart the 
experiences of others and struggling for them as if they 
were our own. But from the same source there also 
arises a possibility of that deep antipathy and hatred 
which are turned directly against the very roots of the 
life of some other being. On the lower levels of life this 

and Foundation of Truth of Father P. Florensky (in Russian). Father 
Florensky's book is translated in part in Hans Ehrenberg's Ostliches 
Christentum, ii, pp. 28 if. For the differentiation of the two kinds 
of consubstantiality and application of these concepts to the cosmos^ 
see my book The World as an Organic Whole. 


Value and Existence 

practical relation manifests itself as a lamentable psychoidal 
acceptance or rejection of another being, an acceptance 
or rejection which may be called pre-feeling. 


The world cannot contain the cause of its own being 
within itself, even though it consists of agents self- 
sufficient in so far as they create their manifestations in 
space and time., because these agents are connected by 
the relative consubstantiality which conditions a single 
form of space, time, etc. It presupposes a single creative 
source of its origin which causes agents to be members 
of one system of relations. This source of the world can 
be thought of only as a Super-Systemic, Super-Cosmic 
Principle, incommensurate with the world. Indeed, if It 
were connected with the world simply by the relation 
of partial identity and contradiction. It would be a 
member of the system, and again the question would arise 
as to a higher principle conditioning this system. 1 

The Super-Cosmic Principle is given in religious 
experience as a Living Personal God. However, this 
produces no contradiction between reflective thought 
and religious experience. The principle which is incom- 
mensurate with the world certainly must be super- 
personal, but this does not prevent it from assuming also 
the character of personal being, especially in relation to 
the world. Its difference from the existence of the world 
still remains indubitable: a personal existent of the world 
cannot become higher than its personal form; it is a 
personality. On the contrary, the Super-Cosmic Principle 

1 See my book The World as an Organic Whole, chap. v. 

The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

possesses personal existence, but is not limited to it. And 
if in Revelation it is described as Three Persons, our 
thought can accept this assertion, not trying, of course, 
to prove it, but trying only to comprehend it within the 
idea of a Super-personal Principle, to whom Personal 
existence is also accessible. 

The super-philosophic idea of the personal life of the 
Trinity in the absolute fulness of Divine existence is of 
the utmost importance for all fundamental philosophical 
problems, and also for the problem of value. Indeed, the 
life of the Holy Trinity, the life of God the Father, 
God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is a "unity 
without fusion, a difference without discrepancy," as 
N. F. Fyodoroff put it. 1 The individual uniqueness of 
each of these three Persons is the source of Their mutual 
enrichment, and not of Their oppression and impoverish- 
ment, because in Their intercourse concrete consubstan- 
tiality is fully realized. The Three Persons of the Holy 
Trinity, due to their perfect mutual love, full mutual 
acceptance, and complete mutual self-surrender, realize 
a perfect unanimity of spirit which creates the richness 
and fulness of their common life. The Divine life in its 
composition and content is a prototype of all the aspects 
of good in our earthly being. Theologians comprehend 
this profound significance of the Trinity for life by cold 
philosophical meditation, but the saints immediately 
experience the life-giving significance of the dogma in 
their religious experience. St. Sergius of Radonega, on 
the site of the future monastery, built the first Church 

1 N. F. FyodorofE, Philosophy of the Common Task) 2nd ed. (in 

Value and Existence 

of the Holy Name of the Life-Giving Trinity as a symbol 
of unity in love, so that the people looking at this symbol 
would conquer in themselves the division of the world 
due to hate. The Trinity, as Love, and as the expression 
of the corporate unity of the Absolute Subject, was the 
object of immediate contemplation of the saint. 1 

The abstract consuhtantiality of substantival agents 
makes possible the voluntary realization by them of 
concrete consubstantiality . Due to abstract consubstantiality 
everything is immanent in everything else. All the mani- 
festations of every substantival agent possess meaning 
not only for him, but also for all other agents as well. 
All that exists in the world complements the sphere of 
life of each being, enriches or impoverishes it, helps or 
counteracts it. Everything that enters the sphere of the 
life of a subject is not received indifferently, but produces 
in him a reaction of feeling, or at least something analogous 
to feeling in the form of acceptance or rejection. The 
creative activity of the substantival agent which is realized 
on the ground of the structure of the existence that has 
been discovered has a purposive character, and one that 
works towards some end. Being super-temporal, the agent 
is able to foretaste the valuable future as a possibility. 
He is able to develop conscious desire and feeling, or at 
least a psychoidal striving for it, and in accordance with 
this striving to perform actions in the present, for the 
sake of the future and on the basis of past experience 
("the historical basis of reaction," to use the terminology 
of Driesch). 

1 See Father S. BulgakofFs "The Beneficent Covenants of St. 
Sergius to Russian Theology/' Puti> 1926, No. 5 (in Russian). 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

Desire, and the activity which works toward some end, 
can be directed only to the realization of the positive 
value foretasted. The strivings for relative, derivative, 
or instrumental values are caused in the end by some 
deeper longing, by the final fundamental attraction for 
absolute intrinsic value. Such final intrinsic value, which 
contains all positive values and in which there is no 
separation of value and existence is the absolute fulness 
of being. Its symptom is a feeling of complete satis- 
faction, bliss. This absolute fulness of being is the real 
and final goal of every activity of every being. But it is 
given in God, and is God; consequently every being 
strives to participate in the divine fulness of existence; it 
strives for deification. 

The theory of the striving of the world to God, as 
the absolutely valuable principle, is very common in 
philosophy. According to Aristotle, the world as a whole 
strives in love toward God as its final goal (see, for 
example, Metaph., xii (L) 7, 1072). Dionysius the Areo- 
pagite (Pseudo-Dionysius) asserts that everything aspires 
to the Absolute which is the basis of perfection of every 
being (Concerning the Divine Names, i, 6, 7). A similar 
theory is developed by St. Maximus the Confessor (for 
example, De ambiguis, chap, xxxvii). St. Augustine says: 
"Res igitur, quibus fruendum e$t> Pater et Filius et Spiritus 
Sanctus, eademque Trinitas, una quaedam summa res, 
communisque omnibus fruentibus ea" (De doctrina chris- 
tiana, bk. i, chap, v, 5)- By the word Jrui he under- 
stands: "amore alicui rd inhaerere propter seipsam" ("to 
seek something for its own sake"; see also chap, iv, 4). 
Albertus Magnus, referring to Aristotle and Dionysius 


Value and Existence 

the Areopagite 3 says that God Is "the final goal desired 
by everybody." "The Divine good is the goal of every- 
body"; even a stone "strives to be one; in the unity of 
its parts lies its preservation, and this unity is a shadow 
of the first principle which preserves and which in itself 
preserves and unites." All common cases of good are 
derivative from the fundamental. Thus,, the goals nearer 
us are different, but the final goal is the same (Summa 
theologica, pt. i, tr. xiii, qu. 55,, memb. 3). According to 
the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas^ God is the final 
goal of men and of all conscious beings; so far as uncon- 
scious beings are concerned. He is their final goal only 
in so far as they "have something in common with God" 
(similitude, but not imago Dei, Summa theologica, pt. ii, i, 
qu. i, art. viii). Johannes Scotus Erigena sees the end 
of history in the state where "every being will reunite 
with the Creator and will be one in Him and with Him" 
without destruction and mixture of matter and substance 
(De divisione naturae, bk. v, 20), 

In modern philosophy we find numerous examples of 
similar theories. I will only mention Vladimir Solovyof, 
who in his Justification of the Good indicates the theory 
that the fundamental stages of evolution are steps as the 
means of ascent to the Kingdom of God (chap, ix, 4). 1 

As far as man is concerned, the theory that the true 
and final goal is deification (6ea)ais) is accepted by 
almost all the Fathers of the Church who touched upon 
this question, especially by the Eastern Fathers. 

1 See my article, "V. Solovyofs Theory of Evolution/' Journal 
of the Russian People's University > Prague, 1931. (In Russian. This 
article appears in German in Festschrift Th. G. Masaryk zum 80 
Gebunstage> Erster Teil.) 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 


An agent who stands in a relation of conflicting 
opposition to other agents,, exhibiting strivings that by 
their very nature disagree with the strivings of other 
agents, i.e. egoistically exclusive strivings, actualizes a 
very poor content of existence, for he must rely upon 
his own isolated power alone. Instead of the absolute 
fulness, there appears an extreme scantiness of being. 
An extreme degree of this scantiness, known to modern 
science, is the existence of the isolated electron. A way 
of escape from the condition of isolation and scantiness 
may be achieved in so far as two or more substantival 
agents accept and adopt at least a few of each other's 
strivings; at least in a few relations cease conflicting 
opposition against each other, and combine their powers 
of action together. The unity and the integral character 
of the mutual action can be understood only as the 
acquisition by several agents of strivings more complex 
and rich in content than their own. These are the strivings 
of an agent who exceeds them in his creative and inventive 
abilities, and with him they form a union for a more or 
less long period of time. Each agent then becomes similar 
to an organ for the carrying out of some side of the 
mutual activity. An example of such unions would be: 
the unification of electrons and protons which makes the 
atom, next the molecule, then the cell, the multi-celled 
organism, society, etc., and finally the universe as a 
whole. Due to the coordination of their powers, each 
new level of unification shows a higher, more complex, 
and more diverse activity than that of the preceding 


Value and Existence 

stages. On the ground of abstract consubstantiality higher 
and higher levels of concrete consubstantiality are thus 
gradually realized. 

The highest level of concrete consubstantiality is 
attained by means of uniting with God, and God uniting 
with the whole world. This union may become perfect 
in no other way than on the ground of love for God and 
for all the beings of the world., because love alone is the 
perfect acceptance and adoption of the existence of 
others. Agents, impregnated with perfect love for God 
and for all the world;, form the Kingdom of God, in 
which they reach the absolute fulness of being and the 
utmost limit of perfection. 

Love is possible only as the voluntary manifestation 
of an agent. Any constrained acceptance of the existence 
of others arises either from prudential motives, or from 
fear, or due to some egoistical striving in general. Hence, 
such acceptance can be only partial^ since any egoistical 
manifestation is a partial existence, one not embracing 
the whole fulness of being. 

Therefore freedom, together with love, is also a neces- 
sary condition of the absolute fulness of being and the 
finality of perfection. Only a free being may be perfect. 

So there arises an important question for ontology as 
to whether the substantival agents possess freedom or 
not. This most difficult problem in philosophy requires 
a special investigation; this I have made in my book 
Freedom of the Will. In it I prove the freedom of the 
substantival agent by developing the dynamic theory of 
causality according to which the origination of any event 
is a creative act of an agent and is in no way forced by 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

the external conditions. Everything that exists or happens 
outside the agent is only a stimulus for the manifestation 
of his creative activity, but cannot be the cause of changes 
in him. As far as the agent himself is concerned, all the 
qualitative distinctions which pertain to him, e.g. his 
character, are something derivative from his own activity. 
Beyond them stands the super-qualitative creative power 
of the agent creating qualitatively definite events. Thus, 
an agent determines events, but is not determined by them. 

The freedom of agents, as an essential condition of the 
possibility of love, and hence of the perfection of the 
divine fulness of being, is at the same time the condition 
that makes possible evil in the world. The fundamental 
primary choice of the way of life by substantival agents 
lies in the fact that in striving towards the absolute 
fulness of life some of them manifest an unselfish love 
for this perfection in God, and becoming members of 
the Kingdom of God, commune with the fulness of His 
being through harmonious activity with Him and with 
all the members of His Kingdom; they become worthy 
of deification. Other agents set out to reach the absolute 
fulness of being, fully or partly outside of God, by way 
of activity in accordance with their own plan and choice. 
On this path are realized extremely variable and different 
levels of apostacy from God, and of egoistical exclusion. 

Investigating the conditions that make values possible, 
we have arrived at several of the fundamental contentions 
of the metaphysical system developed in my book, The 
World as an Organic Whole. There I call the Kingdom 
of God or the kingdom of love also the Kingdom of the 
Spirit, while the realm of beings who exist in a condition 


Value and Existence 

of apostacy from God I term the kingdom of enmity, 
or kingdom of psycho-physical being. Holding the 
dynamic theory of matter, I defended in that book the 
theory that the physical processes of repulsion which 
create impenetrable extended bodies come into being on 
the ground of psychic and psychoidal strivings, strivings 
that contain at least in part an egoistical moment. Thus, 
impenetrable (relatively impenetrable) matter is the con- 
sequence of falling away from God and from the kingdom 
of perfect love. The members of the Kingdom of God 
are far from any manifestations of egoism; they do not 
commit acts of repulsion and therefore do not possess 
impenetrable bodies. Their transfigured spirit-bearing 
bodies consist of only such aesthetic spatial contents as 
light, sound, warmth, odour, etc., which are inter- 
penetrative. In the Kingdom of God, therefore, there is 
realized not only a perfect unanimity of spirit, but also a 
perfect intercourse of bodies. 1 

By the words "spirit" and "spiritual" I indicate here 
all those ideal foundations of the world, concrete and 
abstract, which serve as the condition of the possibility 
of the Kingdom of God, and also all those processes 
having special form which contain no egoistical exclusion 
and hence, even though building a spatial, spirit-bearing 

1 See my article, "The Resurrection of the Body/' Puti, 1931. 
The theory that the impenetrable body is the consequence of falling 
away from God is often met in philosophy in different forms. It is 
developed, for example, by Origen, Erigena (De divisions naturae* 
bk. ii, 9); in modern philosophy by Renouvier and V. Solovyof. In 
the form of a psychological and subjective theory of matter it is 
found in Christian Science, which particularly stresses that matter 
is an illusionary concept conditioned by our egoism. In Russian 
literature it is found in the philosophy of P. N. Nikolaieff, Research 
as to the Nature of our Consciousness. 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

body, form a unity possessing an aspect of highly organic 
wholeness. In the Kingdom of the Spirit: (i) every part 
exists for the whole, (2) the whole exists for every part, 
and (3) each part is the whole in some particular aspect 
of it. 

This structure of the Kingdom of God necessarily 
leads us to the concept of individual existence as the 
most important condition, as well as a very essential 
moment of perfection. So now we will turn to the 
examination of the nature of individual existence. 


The individual is that which possesses uniqueness in 
being and in value. This uniqueness cannot be re- 
duplicated in the world. That which is individual is 
singular and irreplaceable* 

Two types of individual must be distinguished: the 
individual event and the individual being or individual. 
The first belongs to the realm of the real; the second to 
the realm of ideal being. Besides the characteristics of 
singularity and irreplaceableness, the concept of indi- 
vidual includes also the characteristic of indivisibility. 
The indivisibility which we here have in mind is not 
relative indivisibility (for example, the relative indivisi- 
bility which Rickert has in mind when he says that the 
Koh-i-noor diamond can, of course, be split into a 
multitude of pieces, but that individual which bears the 
proper name Koh-i-noor then will be no more), but 

1 The valuable aspect of the individual^ precisely its irreplaceable- 
ness, is presented by Rickert. See also some considerations concerning 
it in G. D. Gurvitch's Fichtes System der konkreten Ethik. 


Value and Existence 

we have in mind absolute indivisibility. It belongs to that 
existence which cannot be split into pieces by any power 
or by any means. Such is the absolute indivisibility that 
is thought of, for example, in Leibniz's concept of the 
monad;, or Democritus' atom. 

The contentions stated contain only a hypothetical 
definition of the individual In the traditional logic such 
a definition is called nominal. In the nominal definition 
we have in mind an object not as it is discovered to be, 
but only as it is supposed to be. Now we must decide 
whether we can transform this definition into a categoric 
(real) definition, i.e. show that objects fitting this defini- 
tion really exist in the world. 1 

We will try to obtain a solution of this problem by 
using as our starting-point the concept of value; although, 
since this is a fundamental problem, it may also be 
solved in many other ways. Values exist only in correla- 
tion with the absolute fulness of being, which we have 
already decided is the absolute intrinsic value, containing 
within itself the coincidence of value and existence. The 
absolute fulness of being is something singular and 
irreplaceable by any other value, i.e. it is individual. 
We have only to decide whether this individual principle 
belongs to the composition of being only as a possibility, 
or whether it is already a realized actuality. 

The values of the world's existence, as well as the 
world's existence itself, exist only on the ground of a 
Super-Cosmic principle, and this Principle, in so far as 
it is God, is the absolute fulness of being. Thus, at least 

1 As to nominal (hypothetical) and real (categoric) defimtions> see 
my Logik> 51. 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

one individual principle, that is, God, exists not only as 
a possibility, but as an actuality. 

According to the Christian Revelation this absolute 
fulness of being is not one but three individual prin- 
ciples : God the Father, God the Son (Logos), and God 
the Holy Spirit. This, however, does not mean that 
there are three specimens of the absolute fulness of 
being. The three individual principles in the Christian 
dogma are thought of as impregnated with perfect love 
for each other and consequently as participating fully in 
each other's life, so that the absolute fulness of their 
existence is something that is united and is singular. It 
cannot be expressed adequately in the categories of the 
world orders the words existence, individual, etc., are 
used in application to it in an impersonal sense only by 
analogy. The forms of space and time are likewise 
unnecessary for this sphere: the Divine fulness of being 
is also fulness without action in time. 

In the composition of the world, substantival agents, 
bearers of super-qualitative creative power in themselves, 
do not constitute the absolute fulness of being. Meaning- 
ful existence is reached by them only by way of creative 
activity in time, i.e. by way of realizing the real being 
that possesses qualities. This activity cannot be reduced 
merely to an act of contemplation directed on God, and 
upon the manifestations of other agents as alien existences. 
Such a communion of the agent with the life of others 
from outside, only by way of contemplation, would not 
be in him a personal experience of the absolute fulness 
of being as his own being. Meaningful existence may be 
reached only by way of personal creative activity which 

F 81 

Value and Existence 

is meaningful. This creative activity, however., must not 
be isolated., but must be a combination of the creative 
power of the agent with the power of the Lord God 
and all other agents in so far as they follow the course 
of perfect union with God, i.e. in so far as they have 
love for God. Such a creative activity on the part of 
many agents on the ground of the loving acceptance of 
the existence of each other is a collective building of the 
single whole. In it the fulness of being as the personal 
experience of each of the participants in the building of 
the whole is realized. This is not a second specimen 
of the absolute fulness of being, standing beside the 
Divine fulness of being: this is the fulness of Divine 
being with the active collective participation of all God's 
creatures within it. 

The falling away of many agents from God does not 
lead to diminution of the fulness of being of the Kingdom 
of God. Where the Divine eternity of life lies at the base, 
the joining to it or separation from it of single units 
does not produce increase or diminution. This joining 
or separation is an infinite gain or an infinite loss to the 
created agent, but not to God and the Kingdom of God. 

The fulness of being in the Kingdom of God is not 
a super-temporal repose. On the contrary, the members 
of this Eongdom manifest the highest degree of creative 
activity, building infinitely complex new contents of 
existence all the time, however, without the oblivion of 
the absolutely valuable creations already made by them, 
and with the potential presence of the future in the 
present. In virtue of this immanence of the past and the 
future in the present the fulness of existence in the 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

Kingdom of God suffers no diminution from the temporal 
form of its real aspect. 1 

Every creative act in the Kingdom of God contributes 
to the composition of the Kingdom an infinitely complex 
new individual content, i.e. it represents something 
original that cannot be duplicated and has irreplaceable 
value within the limits of the world's existence. Indeed, 
every manifestation of the agent in the Kingdom of God 
possesses a character of active co-participation with the 
collective creative activity of all other agents, which is 
possible only by the contributing of a unique new action, 
correlated with all other contents in such a way as to 
form together with them one whole. In the Kingdom 
of the Spirit where there is complete interpenetration 
and where there is no oblivion, the repetition of what is 
already accomplished or is being accomplished would 
have no meaning for others or for the agent who is 
acting. Repetitions would have meaning only under the 
condition of a greater or less isolation of agents, i.e. in 
the kingdom of psycho-physical being. Thus, real pro- 
cesses can be fully individual only in the Kingdom of 
the Spirit. Since they are in the state of harmonious 
correlation with all other events, each of them possesses 
its peculiar destination and meaning in the whole, irre- 
placeable by any other events of the world. According 
to the definition of Frank, "the individual or unique 
being is something that is wholly or completely definite, 

1 As to the purposiveness of oblivion, i.e. partial death in the 
kingdom of psycho-physical being, and as to the impossibility of 
oblivion in the Kingdom of God, where every act is a realization of 
an absolute value, and as to the peculiar typ e of time in tiie King dom 
of God, see my book, The World as an Organic Whole, chap. vi. 


Value and Existence 

precisely in the sense that it is defined (in contrast to 
the logical, i.e. common definitiveness) not only by the 
super-temporal aspect of the all-embracing totality, but 
also by the concrete all-embracing totality in all its 
wholeness." 1 

All actions of the members of the Kingdom of God 
are individual, and, consequently, the agents of this 
Kingdom themselves are individuals. Each one of them 
has, because of his activity, a particular meaning for the 
whole; and also each one of them, being super-temporal, 
is absolutely indivisible. 

The character of the individuality of the substantival 
agent is due not only to his activities, but also to his 
ideal essence. As a matter of fact every action in time 
and space represents the realization of a corresponding 
idea. 2 Thus the particular participation of the agent in 
the collective creative building of the Kingdom of God 
is expressed in his individual idea. This idea determines 
the place of the agent in the Kingdom of God; it deter- 
mines his destiny in the world; his destiny the reaching 
of which is accompanied by his deification. Consequently 
such an individual idea is an "image of God" inherent 
in the individual. As an individual aspect of the collective 
union of the individual with all other individuals which 
are independent of him, it can be only the protoplastic 
"thought" of the Creator concerning the individual 
whom He creates. The individual's freedom of action is 
not trammelled by this ideal of his essence: the individual 

1 S. Frank, Predmet Znania (The Object of Knowledge), p. 415. 

2 As to the ideal bases of real existence, see my book, Sensory, 
Intellectual) and Mystic Intuition (soon to appear in print). 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

Idea is not the natural, but is the normative essence of 
the agent. He may voluntarily accept it for his guidance 
and work to realize it, but he may also reject the ideal 
of its realization. 1 

An agent who has fallen away from the Kingdom of 
God does not lose his individual idea and his formal 
freedom: he remains a potential member of the Kingdom 
of God. Thus the whole world consists of individual 
substantival agents. Now we have only to discover the 
nature of their activities in the psycho-physical kingdom 
of being; we have only to find out whether their activities 
possess an individual character. 

In our kingdom of being many actions are repeated 
many times over and with depressing monotony. They 
contain within themselves not only a moment of positive, 
but also a moment of negative value, and one may be 
replaced by another due to their impoverished positive 
value. Even if we do speak of the individual character 
of actions in this world, still it will prove to be a 
uniqueness which is profoundly different from the indi- 
viduality of actions in the Kingdom of God. In most of 
the processes of a psycho-physical being a content which 
becomes predominant is not an individual content, but 
one that can be replaced or repeated many times over. 
And this is not surprising. Agents of the psycho-physical 
kingdom realize strivings which are more or less egoisti- 
cally exclusive. They are in a relation of isolation and 
conflicting opposition to the great majority of other 
agents. Their actions do not at all represent the infinitely 

1 See Freedom of the Will, chap, vi, 4, "Man's Freedom from 
His Own Character." 

Value and Existence 

meaningful aspect of the collective fulness of being. 
Being correlated with only a part of the content of 
other agents., excluded as they are from the whole, their 
actions are abstracted and possess an impoverished, 
diminished character* In this sense even a concrete 
event in the psycho-physical kingdom is a mere abstrac- 
tion in comparison with the fulness of being in the 
Kingdom of God. Because of its egoistic character and 
conflicting opposition to its medium, such an action 
cannot and should not be the object of complete co- 
participation, i.e. an object of full experience for other 
agents who are outside of the union of agents who per- 
formed it (outside of the given atom, molecule, organism, 
society, etc.). But because of its simplified character (due 
to its separation from the universal whole) such an action 
may be repeated by other agents for their own sake, and 
partly in opposition to other agents through imitation 
or by Independent invention. Thus the more an indivi- 
dual agent withdraws from the collective combination 
of powers^ and the more he relies only upon his own 
creative power alone, the less he is able to realize his 
irreplaceable individuality, and to manifest himself as a 
unique, creatively original being. The greater his exclu- 
sive self-containment is, the greater then the impoverish- 
ment of his activities becomes, and the nearer will be 
his approach to the state where his actions can be expressed 
in an aggregate of general abstract concepts. The most 
extreme level of isolation known to us, that of the isolated 
electron, leads to the very elementary actions of repulsion 
and attraction which can be repeated a multitude of times 
in the same form. Instead of fulness there appears 

The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

poverty; instead of complete independence and freedom 
there is an extreme dependence upon the external stimuli 
for action and the downfall of positive material freedom^ 
i.e. the downfall of creative activity?- 

The way of escape from this impoverished state of life 
is achieved by way of evolution: agents, at least partially, 
cease conflicting opposition to each other and enter into 
unions which gradually become more and more complex. 
In these unions agents of the lower levels of development 
adopt the strivings of a more highly developed agent and 
combine their powers for the realization of his strivings 
under his direction. They become organs of a united 
and more or less complex whole. Thus an atom comes 
into being, then a molecule, a unicellular organism, a 
multi-cellular organism, society, etc. Each successive 
level represents the invention of a new and higher type 
of existence, making possible more meaningful and 
diverse life, richer in creative activities. 

In the kingdom of psycho-physical being, compara- 
tively poor in creative inventiveness, almost every such 
new form of life becomes an object of imitation and 
becomes a more or less common type of life: first there 
is existence in the form of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, 
etc., then existence in the form of molecules of water, 
molecules of carbonic acid, etc., then existence in the 
form of the particular species of plants, animals, etc. 

Each new level we have enumerated in the succession 
of life produces manifestations which are less and less 
definable by bringing them under a general concept: the 

1 As to the concept of positive material freedom in distinction 
from the freedom which is only formal^ see Freedom of the Will. 


Value and Existence 

individual character of the manifestations becomes more 
and more prominent. We can look upon such a process 
of evolution as a gradual re-acquiring by the agent of 
the ability to realize his individuality. Evolution is a 
series of steps in the individuation of life. However, not 
every line of evolution has the character of a true ascent 
to the fulness of being. Substantival agents create new 
forms of life by means of voluntary creative acts : they 
may also enter upon paths that lead into blind alleys 
or lead to the substitution of quantitative richness for 
qualitative diversity. Such, for example, is one of the 
temptations of parasitism. Or after a series of pseudo- 
enrichments of personal life the paths may lead to 
especially grave forms of disruption, due to their inner 
contradictions. 1 

However, no matter how high the attained level of 
individuation may be, still as long as there remains some 
form of disruption, some form of isolation of agents and 
their actions, with it there remains also the possibility 
of the repetition of essential aspects of the action. There- 
fore everything that belongs to the kingdom of psycho- 
physical being may be classified^ can be brought under 
general concepts and distributed into species, genera, 
and families. It is only in the Kingdom of God that 
such classification under general concepts loses all mean- 
ing, because classification does not express the essence 
of its different aspects. 

Actions are repeated not only by different agents, but 

1 See my articles, "The Limits of Evolution," in the Journal of 
Philosophical Studies, London, October 1927, and "The Nature of 
Satan According to Dostoevsky," in Dostoevsky, i, Red. Doleenin, 
Petrograd, 1922 (in Russian). 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

also by the same agent. The first class of repetitions is 
due to the disruption of the collective unity of agents, 
and the second class to the disruptions in the life of 
each separate agent. 

Indeed^, actions containing in themselves even the very 
least moment of egoistic exclusiveness and, consequently, 
the very least moment of conflicting opposition to other 
agents., do not give the fulness of existence; they are one- 
sided in their content and in their value. Therefore they 
lead only in part to satisfaction and in part they lead to 
disappointment. Their complementation by a simple 
simultaneous combination with other reciprocal one- 
sided contents is impossible. Since they are connected 
with conflicting opposition these one-sided contents 
stand not only in the relation of ideal opposition to each 
other, but also in the relation of real mutual exclusion. 
Moreover, even different compatible contents, i.e. those 
which are in the relation of only an ideal opposition to 
each other and not of real mutual exclusion, frequently 
cannot be realized simultaneously by the agent because 
his creative powers are limited, in so far as he is isolated 
from other agents. 1 Therefore, having experienced a 
one-sided satisfaction, the agent removes the experience 
to the realm of the past by oblivion and by changing 
not infrequently to an opposite one-sided content, e.g. 
from busy life in society to concentrated solitude. Later 
he again returns to the first type of activity, etc. Not 
only the separate actions of the agent, but whole systems 

1 As to the differentiation of ideal opposition from real opposition^ 
connected as it is with self-exclusion 3 see The World as an Organic 
Whole s chap. iv. 

Value and Existence 

of life., and whole types, e.g. types of plants, animals, 
societies, and historical epochs, may possess the character 
of such one-sided opposition. 

Returning periodically to his former activities, an 
individual does not simply repeat them, but sometimes 
he perfects them in accordance with his creative inven- 
tive ability in the sense of attaining a somewhat greater 
fulness of content. Usually, however, these changes are 
insignificant, so that the type of action remains the same. 
Any considerable step forward in the achieving of the 
fulness of content usually requires the removal of certain 
forms of egoistic exclusiveness and the transition to a 
new type of life, to a higher level of it. 

Actions and types of life that can be repeated do not 
contain within themselves the fulness of being, and, 
consequently, always contain in themselves, beside posi- 
tive, also negative values. Therefore not their whole 
concrete content but only some moments of their content 
serve as the object of striving, the purpose of action. 
If the totality of their value moments is the content of 
a general concept under which we may bring the given 
object (action, or a being with a certain type of life, etc.),, 
then, from the point of view of a given purpose, one 
particular object may be replaced by another object of 
the same class, one loaf of white bread by another, one 
soldier by another in the constructing of a pontoon 
bridge, one professor of mathematics by another, etc. 
In relation to a definite purpose, comparatively poor in 
content, separate objects are viewed not as individual 
existences but as specimens of the class which may be 
replaced by each other. Sometimes an individual prefers 

The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

to value even himself by his general qualities. Thus there 
are people who even in personal unofficial intercourse 
prefer to be called not by their name but by indication 
of their title,, rank, or office. The weakening of the 
realization of individual personal being, due for instance 
to timidness, may reach the pathological form of the 
appearance of a double, which really or imaginarily 
crowds the individual himself out of life. 1 

May we say of objects that can be substituted for each 
other that they still are individual, if we take them as 
singular concrete wholes? The fall of the rain-drop, or, 
still simpler, the movement of this electron the distance 
of one centimetre is a particular event. But does it fit 
into the concept of an individual event? The whole 
content of such a simple event may be expressed in a 
general concept, and therefore clearly does not contain 
in itself anything singular or unrepeatably unique. How- 
ever, if we add to the content of its existence its relation 
to other objects, then it will appear that every event has 
a singular, unrepeatable place in the universe. This 
means we add its exact position in time and space, and 
also its possession by this or that particular agent, who, 
as was already said, even in the state of apostacy is still 
an individual, due to its normative idea. Moreover, since 
the whole stream of life in the universe forms a single 

1 See B. Visheslavtsey's "The Meaning of the Heart in Religion/' 
Puti> 1925, No. i. As to the problem of a double and its connection 
with problems of concrete ethics 3 see investigation by D. I. 
Tschizevsky, "On the Problem of the Double/* in the book About 
Dostoevsky" i, the collection of articles under the redaction of 
A. Bern. See also the article by S. Hessen, "The Tragedy of the 
Good in the Brothers Karamasoff by Dostoevsky/* Contemporary 
Annals, 1928 (in Russian). 

Value and Existence 

whole, then every event in connection with the setting 
in which it happens (the place of the happening) possesses 
a particular meaning, i.e. an irreplaceable value for the 
whole stream of universal life. Thus any particular 
concrete event, even in the psycho-physical kingdom, is 
individual. However, there exists a profound difference 
between the character of individuality in the Kingdom 
of God and the character of individuality in the psycho- 
physical kingdom. In the Kingdom of God the individual 
character of the event is determined from within by its 
whole content, a content that has a character of embracing 
the whole world, whereas in the kingdom of psycho- 
physical being the individual character of an event is 
conditioned ultimately from the outside, by its form, or, 
to put it precisely by its position within the whole. Let 
us call the first type of individuality absolutely individual^ 
and the second type relatively individual. In the com- 
position of the first there are no moments of negative 
value; in the composition of the second there is always 
a combination of positive and negative values. 

The profound difference between concrete ideal- 
realism and the rational systems of philosophy is con- 
tained in the theory of the principle of individuation 
which we have expounded. According to the rational 
systems, the highest primordial bases of existence are 
the general essences, the genera and the species. From 
the essence of the species individuals are derived as 
something wholly derivative, by a multiplication of the 
essence, due to the irrational principle of the lower order, 
e.g. because of matter that adopts repeatedly one and 
the same essence of the species (species-foxm) and realizes 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

it in different parts of space and the different periods of 
time. Thus the individual is reduced to the level of being 
a representative specimen of the species. 

According to concrete ideal-realism, on the contrary, 
first-created being is composed of individual substantival 
agents. Each of them possesses an inherent individual 
normative idea of God as its first-created and world- 
embracing haecceitas (this-ness). Only in the state of 
apostacy from God and isolation from other agents does 
the individual lose the ability to manifest his individuality 
in all its fulness and reduce his life to the level of the 
realization of a general idea, temporarily transmuting 
himself into a specimen of some species, genus, etc. 

Absolutely individual creative activity, original in 
content, unrepeatable and irreplaceable by any other 
existence of the world, is a realization of the image of 
God, inherent in the substantival agent, building in him 
the likeness of God, accompanied by deification by grace; 
this is active co-participation in the absolute fulness of 
being of God and the Kingdom of God. 

This highest level of creative activity is reached by 
the path of love for God and for all His creatures, but 
not by egoistic self-containment. Thus absolutely indi- 
vidual being is not evil but good it is the highest positive 
value. The identification of personal individual unique- 
ness with evil, as, e.g., in Buddhism, is the consequence 
of a misunderstanding; it is the consequence of con- 
fusing individual originality with egoistic exclusiveness, 
self-containment, and conflicting opposition to other 
beings. To avoid such confusion we should accurately 
distinguish ideal differentiating opposition from real 


Value and Existence 

opposition. Ideal differentiating opposition, not being 
complicated by real opposition, gives us contents of 
being, compatible with each other and interpenetrating 
each other like the different tones of a musical chord; 
it is a condition of the perfect fulness of being. 


The most important condition of the possibility of 
values in the world we have found to be the existence of 
substantival agents, each one of which is an individual 
possessing a unique idea of God as a normative essence. 
Each agent possesses a super-qualitative creative power 
which he can voluntarily exercise for the realization of 
his normative idea, and in so doing can become 
worthy of being a member of the Kingdom of God. An 
agent who has comprehended absolute values and the 
duty of realizing them in his behaviour is a personality. 
Even in the condition of the fall, even on the level of 
the electron, the atom, the molecule, the substantival 
agent still preserves all those data, the correct utilization 
of which may elevate him to the level of personal existence. 
Therefore even in such a low state an agent, although 
not a personality, still is a potential personality. Indeed, 
even on the lowest levels of existence an agent is an 
individual being, capable by means of purposive creative 
activity of rising gradually to higher levels, up to the 
level of actual personal existence. 

Thus personality is the central ontological element 
of the world: the fundamental existence is the substan- 
tival agent, i.e. a potential personality or an actual 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

personality. Everything else, that is, the abstract ideas 
and real processes, exists either as belonging to or else 
as something derivative from the activity of potentially- 
personal and actually-personal agents. Indeed, non- 
substantial entities, such as e.g. a dead branch of a 
plant, or such as a machine, utensil, etc., are derivative 
from the activity of potentially-personal and actually- 
personal agents : the dead branch was originally an organ 
of a living plant, the machine was built by man. More- 
over, each one of these non-substantial entities, even a 
machine, consists of a multitude of substantival agents, 
molecules, atoms, which are potentially-personal beings. 

A philosophical system that asserts the basic and 
central position of personal existence in the composition 
of the world may be called personalism. The acceptance 
of hierarchical grades of substantival agents, appearing 
in the process of their development, may be indicated 
by the expression hierarchical personalism. Such a theory 
may also be called panvitalism, at least in the sense that 
it takes every existence to be a living being. When I 
make this assertion I mean by the word "life" a pur- 
posive, creative activity which possesses the character of 
existihg for itself. 

The greatest representative of personalism in the 
history of philosophy is Leibniz. In the philosophy of 
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, among the 
personalists we should mention the followers of Leibniz; 
for example, Teichmiiller, Bostrom, Lopatin, Kozlov, 
Askoldov, and others. Different forms of personalism are 
represented in the systems of Renouvier, Lotze, Fechner, 
Wundt, W. Stem, the English philosopher F. C. S. 


Value and Existence 

Schiller, and many others. Personalism is very wide- 
spread in American philosophy. It is found, for example,, 
in the theories of G. H. Howison, G. T. Ladd, B. P. 
Bowne, J. Royce, and others. 

Personalism may be established in different ways. In 
this book we have approached it by investigating the 
conditions that make value possible., or more exactly, by 
investigating such conditions as existence for oneself, 
and the meaning of every being for other beings. But 
personalism may be established also by investigating the 
basic ontological problem the conditions of existence 
in general. Personalism is developed in this way in my 
book, The World as an Organic Whole. In the systems 
of Leibniz, Renouvier, Teichmuller, Kozlov, Askoldov, 
and Stern we may find the fundamental metaphysical 
contentions which establish the fact that existence in the 
true sense of the word belongs only to the personal 
or potentially-personal subject; and that everything 
that is not a subject exists due to the subject as its 

Thus if Scheler says that values may also exist without 
the subject, since they exist everywhere in nature, we 
shall agree with him in the last part only of his conten- 
tion. It is true, values do exist everywhere in nature, but 
it does not follow from this that they exist apart from 
the subject. In nature everything is permeated with 
subjective being. Everywhere, wherever there is some- 
thing, necessarily there is also somebody present. This 
thesis of the necessity of the subject for the existence of 
everything else, I assert, of course, not in the sense of 
gnoseological idealism, e.g. not in the sense of the 


The Conditions that Make Value Possible 

Kantian theory of knowledge, but in the sense of meta- 
physical personalism. 

The conditions that make values possible may be 
expressed even more generally still. Values are possible 
only if the bases of existence are ideal and also spiritual. 
Indeed, there belong to the realm of the spiritually-ideal 
all those ideal elements and aspects of existence which 
serve as the condition of the possibility of the Kingdom 
of God. Such are, first, the substantival agents them- 
selves, in so far as they are super-temporal and super- 
spatial beings, and secondly, their abstract consubstan- 
tiality, or all the abstract-Ideal forms of the unity of the 
cosmos, the coordination of agents, etc. These spiritual 
foundations of existence condition the ideal, i.e. the non- 
spatial and non-temporal mutual immanence even of such 
sides of existence as real processes and events taking 
place in different parts of space and at different times. 
This ideal mutual immanence is the condition of the 
possibility of purposes, meanings, and aims. This imma- 
nence consists in the being A and the being B existing 
for each other, not by means of the mechanical inter- 
action of push and pressure upon each other, not by 
spatial or temporal proximity and sequence, but by 
means of a unity which is independent of spatio-temporal 
connections or disruptions and mechanical relations. This 
mutual immanence conditions the ideal orientation of the 
being A to the being B, so that A becomes meaningful, 
and B becomes its meaning. Such connection exists, for 
example, between the intentionally-psychic and physio- 
logical processes of speech on one side, and the objects 
spoken of on the other side. Such a connection exists in 

G 97 

Value and Existence 

a purposive act between a movement directed by an 
intentionally-psychic or psychoidal process and the 
purpose of the movement. Such a connection exists in 
every valuable meaning of one being for another, despite 
their spatial and temporal separation or the fact that they 
belong to different substantival agents. There is such a 
meaning when the pure blue colour of a light ray, or an 
aria sung by Chaliapin, is not indifferent to me, because 
although they are realized in reality outside of me, they 
are still ideally present also in the composition of my 
life, enriching or impoverishing it. 



The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 


The concept of derivative value can be defined easily: 
it is any existence in its significance for the realization 
of the absolute fulness of being or for moving away from 
it. The whole difficulty lies in the definition of primary, 
super-cosmic, absolute positive value. It is God as 
Goodness itself, the absolute fulness of being. It possesses 
within itself the meaning that justifies it, makes it an 
object of approval, gives it the absolute right to be realized 
and preferred above everything else. In this definition 
there is no decomposition into elements; there is only an 
indication of the basic source and a prolific, though still 
not complete, enumeration of consequences that flow 
from it for the mind and will that in any degree commune 
with it (e.g. vindication, approbation, the acknowledg- 
ment of right, preference, etc.). 

Likewise the definition of derivative value does not 
contain an analysis into genus and differentiae. Although 
its grammatical form appears the same as that in the 
definition "A square is a rectangle with equal sides," we 
should not be deceived by this seeming similarity. In the 
definition of the square the concept of rectangle is the 
genus which contains the square as a species. That is the 
reason that the proposition "a square is a rectangle," 
taken out of the whole definition expresses truth. The 
structure of the meaning of our definition of derivative 


Value and Existence 

value Is quite different: in it "existence" is not a genus 
which includes the concept of value. This may be seen 
from the fact that the proposition "value is existence" 
is false. The superficial similarity of this definition of 
value to the definition by means of genus and differentiae 
results from the greater discursiveness of language than 
thought. However, that we must not detach the concept 
"existence" from this definition and reduce it to a pre- 
dicate of the concept "value" is also indicated in the 
linguistic expression of the thought by means of the 
preposition "in," in the phrase "existence in its signi- 
ficance." This combination of words indicates that value 
is an organic unity, including in itself as elements existence 
and significance. But although it is based on these ele- 
ments, it represents a new aspect of the world, different 
from its elements. 

Experience which forms a part of the composition of 
value always contains within itself a moment which in 
developed consciousness is given as feeling and may be 
expressed in such words as pleasant, noble, sweet, 
delightful, tender, sublime, or in such words as dis- 
agreeable, trivial, rude, hideous, and so on. Disagreeing 
with Scheler, I have already pointed out that value 
cannot be reduced simply to these moments. These 
moments are the symptomatic moments of value, which 
at the same time are values in themselves as existences 
which are experienced. 

Significance and meaning represent the ideal aspect of 
value. Hence, every value is either wholly ideal, or at 
least contains an ideal aspect within itself. If valuable 
existence is itself ideal existence, then value is wholly 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

ideal. Thus, for example, the substantival agent, as a 
super-temporal and super-spatial source of actions, is a 
fully ideal value. If the valuable existence is real existence, 
then the corresponding value is ideal-real value. Such, 
for example, is an aria performed by a singer. The idea 
of the aria, the idea of a shrine, the idea of an act, and 
so on, is wholly an ideal value that can be actualized. 
The aria as being performed, the completed shrine, or 
the act as being committed, are ideal-real values. 

Derivative values in thek meaning have in general two 
possible directions of orientation towards the realization 
of the absolute fulness of being, or away from it. Thus, 
they have a different polarity, or they may be positive or 
negative. The former are good, and the latter are evil 
good and evil in the broad sense of the words, i.e. not 
meaning by them simply moral good and moral evil. 

In order to follow the subsequent exposition it is 
important to keep in mind that from now on I shall 
frequently use the word good instead of the long ex- 
pression "positive value," and the word evil instead of 
"negative value." 

According to the ontological theory of values which I 
am developing, existence itself is not only a carrier of 
values, but is itself a value, if taken in its significance. It 
is itself either good or evil. That is why the differentiation 
of Outer (good things) from Werte (values), used in 
modern German literature to express existence as some- 
thing that is not a value, but is only a bearer of value 
and the values themselves, has no essential significance 
for the theory that I am developing. 

The polarity of values is necessarily connected likewise 


Value and Existence 

with the polarity of their symptomatic expression in 
feeling primarily in the feelings of pleasure and pain. 
Similarly., the reaction of will to values, expressed as 
attraction or repulsion., is also polar. 

The fact that possibly there is a relation of feeling 
and will to values gives us no right to build a psychological 
theory of value. Value conditions certain feelings and 
desires, but is not a consequence of them. 

The fact that there is a necessary connection between 
values and the subject since every value is a value for 
some subject gives us no right to say that values are 
subjective. Just as knowledge of the world presupposes 
consciousness, but from this it does not follow that the 
truth discovered is wholly conditioned by consciousness, 
so likewise, the valuable character of the world pre- 
supposes the existence of subjects, but from this it does 
not follow that values are wholly conditioned by the 
existence of subjects. Value is something that transcends 
the opposition of subject and object, because it is con- 
ditioned by the relation of a subject to that which is 
higher than all subjective existence, that is to the Absolute 
Fulness of Being. 1 

Value is always connected not only with the subject, 
but, specifically, with the life of the subject. This may 
be shown in the very definition of the concept of deri- 
vative value by putting it thus : value is existence in its 
significance experienced by the existence itself or 
experienced by others for the realization of the absolute 

1 See, for example, Heyde's reference to the fact that connection 
with the subject does not transform value into something subjective, 
Wen, p. 50. 

I 02 

The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

fulness of life., or for moving away from it. By the word 
life I mean here purposive activity existing expressly for 
each substantival agent. From this it becomes clear that 
such an interpretation of value is not liokgism. The 
physical-bodily life of vegetable and animal organisms 
is only one of the forms of life in general. The absolute 
life of the Kingdom of God requires the ascent from the 
biological-physical-bodily life and the acquiring of a 
spirit-bearing body. 


An absolute positive value is a value unquestionably 
justified in itself, and, consequently, possessing the 
character of goodness from any standpoint, in any rela- 
tion, and for any subject. Not only is it itself always good, 
but also the consequences that necessarily issue from it 
never contain evil in themselves. Such good is, for 
example, the Divine absolute fulness of being. 

A relative positive value is a value possessing the 
character of goodness only in a certain relation or for 
certain specific subjects. In any other relation or for 
certain other subjects such a value is in itself evil, or at 
least is necessarily connected with evil. Values in which 
good is necessarily connected with evil are possible only 
in the psycho-physical kingdom of existence, where 
agents are relatively isolated from each other by their 
greater or less egoistical self-containment. 

We shall use the term subjectiveness to indicate that 
a value has significance for only one particular subject; 
the significance of value for everybody, that is, its signi- 


Value and Existence 

ficance for every subject we shall call objectiveness. Abso- 
lute value, as follows from Its definition, is at the same 
time a value that is significant for everybody, i.e. it 
constitutes an objective intrinsic value. 

The most important problem of axiology consists in 
establishing the existence of absolute values and the over- 
coming of axiological relativism^ i.e. the theory holding 
that all values are relative and subjective. At first sight 
axiological relativism seems to be a firmly established 
induction from the observation of reality. Everywhere 
we look we see relative values. The rapid dash of a grey- 
hound after a rabbit is good for the hound., but evil for 
the rabbit; in a besieged fort where the garrison is 
suffering from a shortage of food, the eating of a piece 
of bread by one of the soldiers is a blessing for him, but 
suffering for some other soldier; the loving of Vronsky 
by Anna Karenina is happiness for Vronsky, but unhappi- 
ness for the husband of- Karenina (from the novel by 
Count Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina); the overcoming of 
Carthage by Rome is fortunate for Rome, but unfortunate 
for Carthage. 

The assertion of the relativity and subjectivity of all 
values arises not only from such observations of reality 
as were mentioned above, but also on the ground of 
certain theories about the structure of the world, theories 
that establish this assertion, for example, as a deduction 
from an inorganic theory of the world. Indeed, according 
to the inorganic conception of the world, it consists only 
of elements separated from each other, self-contained in 
their existence, and capable of uniting into temporary 
wholes only on the basis of the external relations of 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

spatial proximity and external actions., such as push or 
pressure. In such a world there are no common ex- 
periences; intuition as an immediate insight into some- 
body else's existence is impossible; sympathy and love 
as the immediate practical acceptance of somebody else's 
existence are also impossible. An identical common good 
with which all could be identically and commonly con- 
nected is impossible there. Every good in such a world is 
torn into many pieces and is consumed and destroyed 
by separate beings, each in himself and for himself, with 
a loss to the others. Communal life and action are impossible 
there. Impossible likewise is the absolute fulness of 

In such a world., thought of as an aggregate of self- 
contained bits of existence., there is nothing that pos- 
sesses the character of self-justification, nothing that 
would be of common value. Each self-contained subject 
accepts as a positive value his own limited life, or even 
some separate manifestation of it, and all that he meets in 
the world he evaluates as positive or negative only in 
accordance with the meaning it has for his own life or its 
manifestations. But this personal life itself, taken in its 
limitedness and a self-containment which are irremovable, 
according to such a conception of the world, lacks abso- 
lute worth. A subject understands that he places it as the 
supreme value not because it is intrinsically justified, 
but only because it is his life., and thus he has a reason to 
accept it as the supreme value only for himself. And every 
other subject accepts something else as the supreme value; 
namely his own self-contained and limited life or some 
manifestation of it. Certainly in such a world there would 


Value and Existence 

be no absolute values significant for all. Every value 
would be subjective and relative, that is 5 it would exist 
only from the standpoint of a given subject and only in 
relation to him. 

With consistent development such an inorganic con- 
ception of the world rejects the ideal aspect of the world, 
consequently it rejects also world-embracing meaning and 
partial meanings as a special aspect of the world. It 
admits only the existence of facts (events in space and 
time) which are subjectively pleasant or unpleasant. 
With such a structure of the world it would be impossible 
to find an intelligent basis for the preference of one 
course of behaviour over another, to set norms of behaviour 
of which we could say that they contain within them- 
selves an inner justification which is significant for all. 
Such a contention may be explained by the following 
imaginary argument between some vicious man 3 say a 
morphinism and a moralist who stands on the ground of 
an inorganic, naturalistic conception of the world., and is 
thus unable to lay down the foundations for the super- 
iority of right conduct. 

The moralist: Your ruinous habit is destroying your 
mental abilities and you will no longer be a useful member 
of society. 

The morphinist: Society is the sum of beings who are 
similar to me; each one is enveloped in the sphere of his 
own pleasant or unpleasant experiences. I don't see why 
I should sacrifice my own pleasant experiences in favour 
of another being or beings. 

The moralist: Even from the point of view that takes 
into consideration only your own personal experiences^ 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

your behaviour is wrong: you will ruin your health and 
shorten your life. 

The morphinist: I don't care for the ordinary life of a 
healthy man and the long, weary life of a turtle. One 
minute of a fuller life is more precious to me than years 
of normal living. 

In this dispute the morphinist with his super-biological 
ideal of the fulness of experience, an experience which is 
not normal but still is superior to ordinary life, is defend- 
ing a higher value than those ordinary blessings which 
biological naturalism can consistently promise. That is 
why all the arguments of biological-naturalistic morality 
will not induce him to give up his position. 

Fortunately, however, the inorganic conception of the 
world is false, the view of the world that leads to axio- 
logical relativism and subjectivism., admitting in the 
world, as it does, only self-contained particles of irre- 
formable, imperfect existence. God and the Kingdom of 
God actually exist as beings that are absolutely worthy 
and justified. And even our kingdom of psycho-physical 
being, although imperfect, still is an organic whole. No 
being is self-contained; intuition exists; true sympathy 
and love are possible; self-sacrifice and true heroism are 
possible. Every being can truly and immediately commune 
with the life of beings equal to himself, and also with the 
life of beings of a higher order, with the life of the nation, 
humanity, the universe. Moreover, each agent can become 
a participant in the Kingdom of God with its creative 
activity and the absolute fulness of being. In comparison 
with this fulness of being intoxication with narcotics is a 
piteous poverty of life. 


Value and Existence 

Each aspect of the Kingdom of God is filled with 
such grandeur, dignity, and nobleness, that having once 
admitted its actual existence in the Divine World and its 
possibility for ourselves it would be a shame to reject it. 
The only way to evade the norms fixing the behaviour 
that leads to this Kingdom would be to find sophistical 
arguments that would prove beyond any doubt that 
science has shown the existence of such fixed and irre- 
vocable laws of the structure of being which exclude the 
possibility of such a Kingdom. In reality, however, the 
content of existence is not subjected to irrevocable laws : 
it is highly plastic, it is created voluntarily by the sub- 
stantival agents themselves, and no science has ever 
proved the non-existence of God and the impossibility 
of the Kingdom of God. 1 

Freedom is the greatest intrinsic worth of personal 
agents, indispensable for the realization of absolute 
positive values, but possessing hidden in it also the possi- 
bility of the negative course of life. Different degrees of 
loving harmony are voluntarily realized in the world, but 
likewise different degrees of separation, of conflicting 
opposition, and hostility. There exists united action in 
the Kingdom of God, where concrete consubstantiality, 
the complete organic integration^ and deification are 
realized deification that gives the absolute fulness of 
being. On the other hand the psycho-physical kingdom 
of being also exists, with different degrees of disruption 
in the organic integration and diminution of mutual 
immanence. However, even on the most extreme levels of 
egoistical self-containment there are still preserved at 

1 See Freedom of the Will> chap. iv 3 6. 

The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

least abstract consttbstantiality and some remnants of 
participation in the common life of the world, and also 
the possibility of regeneration and of becoming worthy 
to enter the Kingdom of God. Therefore, absolute values 
exist even for the agents of the psycho-physical kingdom, 
and constitute the final goal of their activity. Any attempt 
to reject absolute values leads to self-contradiction, 
because the absolute value of God and the Kingdom of 
God is the basic necessary condition of all relative values 
and even of existence itself. 

The fact that absolute value is always a value ex- 
perienced by some subject does not contradict its absolute- 
ness, that is, its self-justification. The concept "absolute/* 
when it has the meaning of a predicate or definition, is 
applicable to such objects as are in a system of relations. 
For example, if we assert the absolute movement of 
body A in its approach to body B, we do not deny that 
this movement is in relation to body B, we deny only 
those theories according to which the approach of two 
bodies, taken in its concrete fulness, could be expressed 
with equal right as "A moves toward B," or "B moves 
toward A." 


God is the Good itself, in the all-embracing sense of 
the word: He is the True, the Beautiful, the Moral Good, 
the Life, etc. So God, and specifically, each Person of the 
Holy Trinity, is the Ail-Embracing Absolute Intrinsic 
Value. The full mutual inter-participation of God the 
Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in each 

Value and Existence 

other's life gives us the right to assert that the All- 
Embracing Absolute Intrinsic Value is not divided into 
three parts and does not exist in three exemplars It is 
one in three Persons. More than that, each created 
member of the Kingdom of God is a personality worthy 
to commune with the Divine fulness of being because of 
the course of goodness chosen by it. It is a personality 
that has actually received by God's grace the ability to 
fit itself into God's eternal life and to actively participate 
in it. That means it is a personality that has reached 
deification by God's grace, a personality which despite 
its created character still possesses all-embracing absolute 
intrinsic value. Each one of these personalities is a created 
son of God. 

And even each agent of the psycho-physical kingdom 
of being, in spite of the state of his apostacy from God 
and sojourn in the poverty of a relatively isolated existence, 
is still an individual, i.e. a being possessed of a unique 
normative idea, due to which he is a potential member of 
the Kingdom of God. Therefore, each substantival agent, 
each actual and even each potential personality, is an 
absolute intrinsic value, a value potentially all-embracing. 
Thus, the whole protoplastic (first-created) world created 
by God is composed of beings who are not instruments 
to aims and values, but are absolute intrinsic values in 
themselves, and values that are even potentially all- 
embracing. It depends on their own endeavour to become 
worthy of the benevolent help of God and to elevate 
their absolute intrinsic value from the potentially all- 
embracing to the level of the actually all-embracing, 
i.e. to become worthy of deification. 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

Only a personality can be an actually all-embracing 
absolute intrinsic value: only a personality can possess 
the absolute fulness of being. All other types of existence, 
derivative from the existence of the personality, that is 
the different aspects of the personality, the activities of 
personalities, the product of their activities constitute 
derivative values, values that exist only under the con- 
ditions of the all-embracing absolute good. Above we 
gave the following definition of derivative value: it is 
existence in its significance for the realization of the 
absolute fulness of being, or for moving away from it. 

It seems that it then follows that any derivative value 
is brought down to the level of only a means. In such a 
case we would have to think that, for example, the love 
of man for God, or the love of a man for other people is 
not a good in itself, but is good only as a means of reaching 
the absolute fulness of being. Similarly, beauty and truth 
would not be good in themselves, but only good as 

The very apprehension of this thesis and the exact 
understanding of it necessarily produces a feeling of 
repulsion for its meaning, and this feeling is a good 
indication of the falseness of the thesis. Indeed, love for 
any being, if deprived of intrinsic value and brought 
down to the level of only a means, is not a true love, but 
a falsification of love hiding in itself hypocrisy or treachery. 
The falseness of this thesis is also brought to light by 
the fact that it makes the goodness of the Absolute Ail- 
Embracing Good itself incomprehensible. If love, beauty, 
truth, which are undoubtedly present in the Absolute 
Mi-Embracing Good, are only means, then what is the 


Value and Existence 

true good in the Absolute Good itself? Fortunately, 
however, our thought does not need to oscillate simply 
between these two alternatives of the all-embracing 
absolute value and instrumental value (the value of the 
means). The problem can be solved by using the concept 
of Strahlwert developed by W. Stern. We will express 
it for the purpose of our system as "partial value." In 
order to establish this concept let us say a few words 
about its meaning in Stern's system. 

According to Stern, we should distinguish intrinsic 
values (Selbstwerte) from derivative values (abgeleitete 
Werte)', these last in turn are either Strahlwerte (radiated 
values, or values of radiation), or Dienstwerte (instru- 
mental values, means). Stern arrives at the concept of 
the radiated value in the following way. According to 
his personalistic system of philosophy, only personalities 
are intrinsic values; but personality is a unitas multiplex 
(a composite whole, a unity consisting of many parts). 
Personality is a whole containing within itself a multitude 
of moments whether they be real parts, symptoms, 
phases of existence, ways of expression, spheres of action; 
each moment communes with the intrinsic value of the 
whole and so becomes a bearer of value, although not 
in itself an intrinsic value. An intrinsically valuable 
whole radiates its value into everything that belongs to 
it: therefore we can designate such a variety of derivative 
values by the term Strahlwert.' 1 According to Stern 
morality, religion, art, law, health, etc., for example, 
belong to these "radiated values." "These are not primal 
values. On the other hand, however, they are valuable 
1 W. Stem, Wert-pMosophie, p. 44. 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

not only because they are useful 'for something/ but in 
them flow and are expressed basic values" (p. 127). 

Adopting the concept of "radiated value" developed 
by Stern., we will, however, have to modify it in accor- 
dance with the system of philosophy we are developing. 
We will also change the term and will call that which we 
mean by it, in distinction from absolute all-embracing 
intrinsic values absolute "partial intrinsic values. 55 In 
spite of their derivative character, in the sense that 
they cannot exist apart from a whole, they still remain 
intrinsic values. Indeed at the fountain-head of axiology 
we put the all-embracing fulness of existence, as the 
absolute perfection. That indefinable goodness and the 
character of self-justification with which the fulness of 
existence is thoroughly permeated also belongs to every 
moment of it because of its organic integrity. Therefore, 
each necessary aspect of the fulness of being is perceived 
and experienced as something which is good in itself, 
which is justified in its content as that which should be. 
Such are love, truth, freedom, beauty. All these aspects of 
the Kingdom of God with the Lord God as the head are 
impressed by the lineaments that are inherent in the 
Absolute Good. Such are the characteristics of not 
abiding solely within Himself, of not communing with 
any inimical conflicting opposition, of compatibility, of 
communicability, of existence for itself and for every- 
body, of self-surrender. 

Thus, in God and in the Kingdom of God, as well 
as in the protoplastic (first-created) world, there are only 
intrinsic values; there is nothing that is merely a means. 
Intrinsic values are all absolute and objective, i.e. they 


Value and Existence 

possess significance for everybody, since here there is 
no isolated, excluded existence. The classification and 
correlation of these values are expressed in the following 

Absolute Intrinsic Values 

All-embracing Partial 

Primordial Created 

Actually Potentially 

all-embracing all-embracing 


Those values are relative which in some relations are 
good, and in other relations evil; they are evil because 
they are at least necessarily connected with evil. 

Such double-faced values are possible only in the 
psycho-physical kingdom of existence, a kingdom con- 
sisting of agents that are in the state of apostacy from 
God and of greater or lesser separation from one another. 
To understand the nature of relative values and to 
establish their fundamental forms, we should distinguish 
the possible kinds of relations of creatures to God and to 
the Kingdom of God. 

All beings strive for the absolute fulness of being. To 
attain this goal two diametrically opposite courses may 
be selected. One way is the all-surmounting love for God 
as the primordial Absolute Good, and love for all created 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

agents as the potentially all-embracing good. This results 
in voluntary subordination to God, and the voluntary 
unanimity of spirit in the communal activity of all those 
beings who follow God. Agents who were guided in their 
behaviour primordially by this ideal become worthy of 
deification and entered into the composition of the 
Kingdom of God from the very beginning. They escaped 
the necessity of following the course of evolution that 
leads gradually to the highest level of good. Another 
course, of a character opposite to the first, is a proud 
aspiration personally to become a God and to reach the 
absolute fulness of being by subjecting all other beings 
to oneself. This is the ideal of Satan. It leads to rivalry 
with God; it meets unsurmountable obstacles in its 
attempts at realization, and in the case of impenitence it 
gives rise to a burning hatred for God and for every true 
good. By this course a progressive perfection in evil is 
possible and a movement further and further away from 
God and the Kingdom of God; this is Satanic evolution. 
However, a less determined falling away from God 
and the Kingdom of God is possible. One's striving to 
attain the absolute fulness of being may be connected 
with a love for one's own self greater than one's love for 
God and for other beings. It is not the proud desire to 
put oneself in place of God it is only a preferential 
interest for one's own self, in the sense of concentration 
on one's own experiences and disrespect and lack of 
interest for the life of others. This is egoism not Satanic, 
but earthly. It results in a separation of agents from each 
other and a state of being where each one is left to him- 
self. This separation can reach such extremes of the 

Value and Existence 

poverty of isolated existence as is known to modern 
science, for example, in the state of a single, isolated 

"Everybody nowadays/' says the starets Zosima (in 
Brothers Karamazoff by Dostoevsky), "strives to dis- 
tinguish himself the most, wants to experience within 
himself the fulness of life, but from all his efforts there 
comes, instead of the fulness of life, nothing but complete 
suicide. For instead of the fulness of development of his 
essence he falls into complete isolation." 

The poverty of the isolated life, as was said above, 
can be overcome only by means of the evolutionary pro- 
cess. It is the process by which the agent gradually learns 
to leave his self-containment at least partially, and to 
enter into union with other agents. He forms with them 
organically united wholes in which it is possible mutually 
to attain a greater complexity and variety of life than in 
isolated existence. However, the increase of power and 
the creative activity of life, acquired in such organic 
unions, is used in a great measure egoistically. It is used 
for the energetic struggle for existence against everybody 
who is not included in this particular union, so that the 
good of the elevation of life in one group of beings is 
accompanied by the evil of the oppression of the life of 
other beings. This unfortunate relativity of the good in 
the evolutionary process is full of significance: the moral 
evil of apostacy from God, that is, the evil of separation 
of agents, brings as its natural consequence various other 
kinds of evil, the sufferings due to the poverty of existence 
and of the mutual restriction of life of those beings who 
find themselves outside of the Kingdom of God in the 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

kingdom of psycho-physical being. This lower type of 
existence arose because of the incorrect, although 
voluntary, act of choice. Likewise, as it follows from the 
theory about the nature of the Kingdom of God, the 
rational perfection of this existence and, finally, the 
leaving of the lower type of existence by acquiring holi- 
ness and by communion with the Kingdom of God, are 
possible only by the free search for the right course by 
means of voluntary creative acts. Therefore, the whole 
of evolution in nature, from the agent who stands on the 
level of existence of an electron, up to man and even 
beyond man, should be thought of as a free creative 
process, but not as a process that is necessary and con- 
strained by law. All the qualities necessary for the possi- 
bility of the creative process of the regeneration of fallen 
agents are preserved, as was shown above, even on the 
lowest levels of natural existence. There is present in 
each substantival agent a super-qualitative creative power; 
also there exists a connection between the agents in the 
form of abstract consubstantiality, and the ability of 
purposive creative activity, etc. 1 

Even those agents which do not possess consciousness 
retain that relation to themselves and to the world which 
we named pre-consciousness, and thus their evolution 
is directed by a striving, perhaps only in the form of an 
instinctive tendency, to higher levels, to the absolute 
fulness of being. However, this movement toward the 
higher life is a free creative search; that is why the 
evolving beings of the psycho-physical kingdom can- 

1 Refer above; also to my article^ "The Limits of Evolution/' 
Journal of Philosophical Studies, London, October 1927. 


Value and Existence 

not be graded and arranged into a series as beings pro- 
gressively approaching one and the same goal. In the 
first place, there are many different paths that lead to the 
same goal. In the second place, there are possible detours 
from the right course of ascent, detours that lead to 
blind alleys in which further evolution cannot be realized. 
The only way out of such blind alleys is to leap over to 
a new path of progress. In the third place, Satanic tempta- 
tions are also possible, and yielding to them leads to 
interruptions, to the temporary or final turning to a road 
of development that does not ascend toward God, but 
leads away from Him. However numerous the ways of 
progress are, it is possible mentally to lay out an ideal 
type of evolution., which is realized along the lines that 
lead, in spite of the different concrete content of the 
process, straight up to the threshold of the Kingdom of 
God. Such an evolution may be called normal. It is 
directed by norms that emerge due to the problem of 
growing in relative goodness up to the point of acquiring 
the ability to comprehend absolute values, of beginning 
to place them as the purpose of behaviour, and of reaching 
the limit of the psycho-physical kingdom, of reaching 
holiness which is rewarded by becoming worthy of 
deification, that is, entering the Kingdom of God. 

Each step of this normal evolution represents a release 
from some aspect of egoistical self-exclusion. It repre- 
sents a broadening of the life of the agent by the adoption 
of a group of alien personal or even super-personal 
interests into his own life as if they were his own interests 
(such assimilation Stern calls "introception"). Each step 
of normal evolution also represents the development of 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

abilities that are necessary for the ascent to the all- 
embracing life,, for example, the development of psychic 
activity from the psychoidal, the acquiring of new forms 
of perception (of sound, light, etc.), the development of 
consciousness from the elements of pre~consciousness, the 
transition from instinct to conscious will, the development 
of the capacity for intellectual intuition (mind); etc. 

Each gain in normal evolution, each activity in its 
course, is a positive value in so far as it is existence in its 
significance for the ascent to the absolute fulness of being. 
Each manifestation of life in this normal process is not 
only a means of ascent, but also an intrinsic value for the 
subject who is creating and experiencing it. It is a moment 
of the subjective fulness of being. The number and 
variety of such intrinsic values is very great in such a 
relatively highly developed agent as the human ego, 
which has gone relatively far along the way of freeing 
itself from egoistical self-containment. Man lives a life 
common in part with the life of a multitude of lower 
agents subordinated to him, agents that enter into the 
composition of his body. Likewise, he lives a life common 
in part with the nearest higher agents to whom he is 
subordinated : with his family, with his nation, his church, 
etc. A great many activities in each of these spheres 
possess a character of intrinsic value for the subject. All 
the following activities are moments of the subjective 
creation of life: the biological functions of a healthy 
organism, for example, the partaking of food with a 
normal appetite and the digesting of it, physical work, 
rest after normal work, etc.; activities that exceed the 
limits of purely biological processes, for example, the 


Value and Existence 

acquiring of property, the managing and building of 
property (the building of a house, growing a garden, etc.); 
activities that are in the stream of life of the higher 
hierarchical union, for example, bringing up of children, 
intercourse with the members of one's family, partici- 
pation in political struggle, defending of one's country, 
etc. Each one of these activities., as well as the Objective 
contents themselves that such activities create (a healthy 
body, a weE-made chair, a good snapshot, the physical 
alertness of his son acquired by a proper physical training, 
the growth of his political party, etc.)* may be intrinsic 
values for a man. But, on the other hand, each one of 
these activities and each object created by them may 
also be lowered to the level of simply a means. Some 
ascetic may admit the biological function of eating only 
as a necessary means for spiritual activity, until the human 
body is transfigured. Ignatius Loyola, for example, 
developed a set of rules that teach us how to reduce the 
amount of food taken to a minimum., but without lowering 
the body to such exhaustion that spiritual life loses its 
freshness and energy. 1 More than that, each of the 
activities and the objects of these activities enumerated 
might be brought down to the level of simply a means, 
not only in relation to the absolute values, but also in 
relation to values which are likewise relative. An artisan 
may think of his professional activity and the products 
produced by it furniture, shoes, clothing, etc. only 
as a means for making a living, and not put sincere interest 
in his work. Similarly, a teacher of physical education 
might look upon his teaching and upon the physical 

1 St. Ignatius Loyola, Das Exerzitienbuch; 2nd ed., i, p. 245. 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

development of the children that were entrusted to him 
only as a means of getting his salary and advancement,, 
in case he is very successful. It is very doubtful, however, 
whether children could be safely trusted to such a teacher. 
Moreover, the interrelation of activities, their objects 
and their values, is so complicated that each of the 
enumerated activities and each of their objects might be 
at the same time and for the same agent an intrinsic 
value and also a means of reaching some other value. 

All those activities in the kingdom of psycho-physical 
being which we have enumerated require more or less 
struggle with the beings who are outside of the agent or 
outside of that union in the interests of which he acts. 
Nourishment requires the violent breaking up of the 
whole of an alien vegetable or animal organism. The" 
professional activity of man is accompanied by the 
destruction of the life of plants and animals, or by an 
interference through force with the flow of the processes 
of inorganic nature. The seizing of the psycho-physical 
goods for one's own nation leads directly or indirectly 
to infringement of the interests of other peoples, etc. 
In greater or less degree all these activities are connected 
with the struggle for existence, and even within each 
union harmony between its members exists only in some 
relations, but in other relations the members contest with 
each other. Such contesting relations are, for example, 
certain diseases of the organism, competition in trade 
and industry, exploitation of labour by capital, etc. 
There is no loving interrelation of all beings, no complete 
harmony of interests, no communal activity. Therefore, 
the experiences of some one agent or a group of agents 


Value and Existence 

could not be the object of the full active co-participation 
of all the rest. Even though these experiences and their 
objects are intrinsic values for some individual, they 
still belong to the sphere of relative, not absolute values. 
The proof is twofold. In the first place, they are justified 
only from the point of view of the psycho-physical 
kingdom of existence which consists of beings who 
themselves have brought about the splitting up of life 
into separate, relatively isolated streams. In the second 
place, inasmuch as their conditions or their consequences 
are connected with conflicting opposition to the lives of 
others, they are negative values good in them is con- 
nected with evil. However, taken by themselves, isolated 
from their conditions and consequences, they are mani- 
festations of preservation of life and of its growth, mani- 
festations that prepare for the comprehension of absolute 
values and adoption of them. As steps in the growth of 
solidarity and harmony if not yet love as an increase 
of order and other similar values which might be called 
weak reflections of the absolute values of the Kingdom 
of God, they leap up to the threshold of this Kingdom 
and awaken a longing to give up the lower world and 
become worthy to commune with the higher world. In 
this sense, inasmuch as the final goal of all beings is 
the absolute fulness of being which alone can be the 
common goal, the manifestations of the normal evolution 
of each being are positive values also from the stand- 
point of all other agents. They are objective values 
significant for all, even though relative. Indeed, if he 
gains freedom from the subjective partialities that distort 
valuations, every agent is forced to accept the positive 

The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

value of the health of all other agents, their prosperity, 
the weE-being of their families, countries, etc., although 
these types of good, belonging as they do to the psycho- 
physical kingdom are only relative, that is, are also con- 
nected with evil. On account of this, their universally 
valid significance is different from the universally valid 
significance of absolute values. Perfect love, beauty, 
truth, the moral good, are universally valid intrinsic 
values, whereas the relative good is universally valid., not 
as an intrinsic value, but as something instrumental, as a 
necessary moment of evolution that leads to the threshold 
of the exit from the realm of evil. The different forms of 
the relative good may possess a character of intrinsic 
value only for their bearers and those agents of the 
psycho-physical kingdom who are near to them and who 
fight together with them for the preservation of life and 
the raising of its level. These are subjective intrinsic values. 


Everything that is an obstacle to the attainment of the 
absolute fulness of life possesses negative value, or, in 
other words, the character of evil (in the broad, not in the 
ethical sense). However, it does not follow that evils, 
such as illness, aesthetic ugliness, hatred, treachery, etc., 
are in themselves indifferent, and are evil only in so 
far as they result in a failure to attain the fulness of being. 
As good is justified in itself, so evil is something unworthy 
in itself, something deserving condemnation; it is in 
itself the opposite of the absolute fulness of life, as the 
Absolute Good. 

But in contrast with the Absolute Good, evil is not 


Value and Existence 

primordial and not self-subsistent. In the first place, it 
exists only in the created world and even there not in 
its protoplastic (first-created) essence. Rather, it ori- 
ginates as a free act of the will of substantival agents, and 
derivatively as a consequence of this act. In the second 
place, evil acts of will are committed under the appear- 
ance of good, because they are always directed toward a 
true positive value, but in such correlation with other 
values and means of accomplishing it that evil is sub- 
stituted for good. Thus, to be God is the highest positive 
value, but the usurping of this merit by a creature is 
the greatest evil. In the third place, the realization of a 
negative value is only possible by using the powers of 
the good. This dependence on the good and contra- 
dictory character of negative values is especially noticeable 
in the sphere of Satanic evil. So, we shall begin with the 
discussion of Satanic evil. 

Satanic evil is the pride of an agent who cannot bear 
the supremacy of God and other agents over himself, 
and who strives to put himself in God's place and to 
occupy a preferential position in the world, a position 
higher than that of other creatures. This fundamental 
aspect of the Satanic will is expressed in different varia- 
tions, for example, in Satanic ambition, in the Satanic 
love of power, in manifestations of hatred, envy, cruelty, 
etc. Such acts and conditions which, not only by their 
conditions or consequences, but in themselves, cause 
damage to other beings, possess the character of intrinsic 
value for the Satanic will. For example, for an ambitious 
person with the Satanic tendency, who is competing 
with other agents, the final goal is not simply perfec- 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Valties 

tion of action,, but supremacy, a victory over other 
agents. Similarly, for a cruel being, for a cat, playing 
with a mouse it has caught, or for a Sadist, the 
sufferings of a victim represent just that aspect in 
which he claims his superiority and domination of the 

The evil brought into the world by earthly selfishness 
has an entirely different character: it is not in the act or 
condition itself which is the goal, but in the consequences 
of the act and in the means of achieving it. These conse- 
quences are considered by the agent himself, if he notices 
them (which happens rarely) as undesirable, and the evil 
means for achieving a goal in themselves are disliked by 
him. Thus a great majority of the people would gladly 
abandon the use of animal food if a satisfactory system 
of nourishment without slaughter could be developed 
and a state economy was adopted for the supply 
of such food. In taking a competitive examination for 
admission into an institution of higher learning a 
young man, if he is mentally normal, feels sorry 
for his classmates who fail and does not rejoice at 
their failure. 

The difference between the Satanic evil will and the 
evil will of earthly selfishness in brief is this: from the 
point of view of the Satanic will, evil acts are themselves 
positive values, inasmuch as they satisfy his pride; whereas 
for earthly selfishness evil acts possess only instrumental 
value, remaining in themselves undesirable. In both 
cases the evil caused other beings is not the primary goal, 
but only the consequence of selfishness. In this sense even 
Satan himself is not a being who strives for the suffering 

Value and Existence 

of other beings just for the sake of that suffering. 1 How- 
ever, the nature of Satanic selfishness is such that his 
aims include oppression of other beings by analytic 
necessity, whereas the aims of earthly selfishness are 
connected with acts and conditions that oppress the 
existence of others by synthetic necessity. The first is 
absolute evil, and the second relative evil. 

The difference between these two kinds of will can 
also be shown by the difference between Satanic and 
earthly ambition. For Satanic ambition supremacy as 
victory over other agents is the intrinsic aim; for earthly 
ambition the acquiring of supremacy is not an intrinsic 
aim, but a means. More specifically, it is either an indi- 
cation of the perfection of an act performed, or a source 
of securing for oneself some other blessing (for example, 
a good position in society, favourable for untrammelled 
development of all activities of life, etc.). 

Theoretically it is easy to separate Satanic and earthly 
ambition. But in practice frequently it is almost impos- 
sible to decide with which of the two we have to deal 
when we meet with the concrete manifestations of a man. 
By almost an imperceptible gradation competition leads 
quickly to the appearance of jealousy and hatred, which, 
as Scheler says, rejoice in the faults of the one hated and 
grieve when they notice any merit in him. Having adopted 
this course, a man proceeds to move along the edge of a 
precipice and he is ominously illuminated by reflections 
from the Satanic evil. The lives of great men and out- 

1 See my article, "The Nature of Satan According to Dostoevsky," 
in a collection of articles F. M. Dostoevsky, under the redaction of 
Doleenin, i. Scheler has a different opinion, see p. 3693 N. Hartmarm 3 
ii 3 pp. 176 ff. 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

standing individuals in history give us many examples of 
such a dangerous position. Just recall the rivalry between 
Fichte and Schelling, 1 the hidden jealousy in the rela- 
tions of L. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, 2 the devilish pranks 
Byron played on his wife, caused probably by the fact 
that she did not at once respond to his love before their 
marriage, and the bad treatment of Sushkova by Ler- 
montov. We shall find the same phenomena in all spheres 
of our own life. In each university there are two or three 
pairs of professors who work in the same subject and 
hate each other from the bottom of their hearts. The 
same happens in the life of actors, politicians, church 
workers,, etc. 

Selfishness, Satanic as well as earthly, is the funda- 
mental evil. It is a moral evil, actualized in different 
variations. As a consequence of it, inasmuch as it leads 
to the relative isolation of agents from each other, there 
arise numerous other kinds of evil that may be called 
derivative evils: such are physical suffering, illness, death, 
mental suffering and mental disease, aesthetic ugliness, 
a lack of complete truth, errors, etc. 

If the world is the creation of a benevolent Creator, a 
world rational in all its details, then the question arises 
why evil does exist in the world, and what is the purpose 
of the different kinds of evil. The answer to this question 
I have given in my book, Freedom of the Will) and have 
briefly indicated it in this book also. The highest worth 
of the world, for the sake of which alone it should exist 

1 Kuno Fischer, "Schelling," Geschichte der neueren Philosophic vli. 
3 A. L. Bern, "Tolstoy in Dostoevsky's Estimation/' Scientific 
Works of the Russian People** University s ii (in Russian). 


Value and Existence 

that is, its capacity to create the Kingdom of God is 
possible only under the condition that agents have 
freedom. But freedom is connected not only with the 
possibility of good, but also of evil. An agent who uses 
his freedom wrongly, who has adopted the course of 
selfishness, brings evil into the world. The good of the 
love for God and for the creatures of God presupposes 
the possibility of the evil of selfishness, not requiring, 
however, its actual existence. Hence the actual existence 
of selfishness is a free and independent manifestation of 
the agent. It is a wrong which nobody forced him to 
commit, a sin that brings with it as a natural and due 
consequence the isolation of the agent, and with the iso- 
lation all the evils derivative from it: scantiness of life, 
disease, death, aesthetic ugliness, etc. 

The fundamental evil, the evil of egoistic selfishness is 
a voluntary act of the agent, leading him to an "anti- 
transfiguration"; consequently evil is not a simple 
shortage of good, not merely a non-fulness of it, i.e. it is 
not non-existence. Evil is a certain kind of content of 
existence^ it is an esse of which we have to say that it is 
male esse in distinction from bene esse. However, it does 
not appear in the world except by a wrong use of a great 
good of free creative power. Moreover, it does not 
appear except in the pursuit of the greatest positive value, 
namely deification, however, along a wrong course. 
Consequently this male esse never can be evil throughout: 
it always contains in itself at least some remnants of 
positive value. St. Augustine was quite correct in his 
assertion that good could not be removed entirely from 
anything that exists, because then the existence itself 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

would cease. A good being can be good throughout, but 
an evil being cannot be evil throughout. 

The high rationality of the world is revealed in the 
fact that those agents only who are themselves guilty of 
selfishness and have doomed themselves to life in the 
psycho-physical kingdom of being are immediately 
touched by every kind of evil. Indeed, agents of the 
Kingdom of God are immune even from Satan: their 
unanimity of spirit excludes the possibility of a break 
in their bond, that is, it excludes the possibility of death. 
Their transfigured body produces no forces of repulsion 
and could not, therefore, be subjected to any violence 
by a push; the spiritual sufferings of humiliated pride, 
ambition, love of power, etc., do not exist for them, for 
they are free from these passions. Even a loving partici- 
pation in our life cannot bring earthly grief and sorrow 
to the kingdom of the Spirit. The position of the members 
of the kingdom of the Spirit is similar to that of a physician 
helping his patient & physician who knows the power 
of his art and science and has a miraculous insight into 
God's ways which reveals to him the meaning of human 
suffering and the certainty of the final conquest of the Good. 1 

The unearthly calmness of the Sistine Madonna of 
Raphael is not "the ultra-aristocratic indifference to the 
sufferings and wants of our world/ 5 as it seemed to 
Belinsky, 2 but rather the perfect purity of a nurse who 
depends on God, who does not contract the contagion 
of fears and feverish deliriums of the patien^ and who 

1 The World as an Organic Whole, p. 161. 

2 P. V. Annenkofik Literary Recollections, ed. "Academia/' 1928, 
P- 563- 

I 129 

Value and Existence 

just by a touch of her cool and tender hand on his fore- 
head brings peace and calmness to his mind and body. 

The correlation of all beings and all events forming a 
single world can be explained by the fact that at the head 
of the world stands the Universal Spirit., a substantival 
agent that coordinates all the activities of all beings. He 
does not separate Himself from anybody; consequently, 
He belongs to the composition of the Kingdom of God. 
The Spirit only can be the source of such a whole, or the 
kind of a system all of whose parts lead to the realiza- 
tion of a truly all-embracing, unchangeable., eternal, and 
absolute purpose. In accordance with the nature of the 
Spirit, that purpose can be no other than to make the 
whole structure of the world and every event in it sub- 
servient to the development of spirituality in the entities 
of the psycho-physical realm and thus educate them for 
reunion with the Kingdom of God. The inclusion of every 
event in an all-embracing cosmic bond resulting, from 
the point of view of the individual entity, in the most 
capricious and unexpected combinations far from being 
the work of blind accident, contains a most profound 
meaning and has the character of moral necessity. 1 This 
gives rise to a world in which "every great cosmic event 
is adapted to the fate of many thousands of beings, to 
each in its own way"; "the cross-currents of all human 
lives in their interconnection must have as much concord 
and harmony with each other as the composer gives in a 
symphony to a number of voices which apparently 
interrupt one another." 2 

1 The World as an Organic Whole> p. 166. 

2 Schopenhauer, Parerga und Paralipomena, i. 

The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

In this rational whole every evil painfully touching 
those beings who themselves bring evil into the world, 
serves them as a punishment, or warning, or inducement 
to repentance, etc. In this sense even evil possesses 
instrumental positive value: in the kingdom of evil 
beings it is used as a means of curing them from evil. 


In our psycho-physical kingdom of being there is an 
infinite number of activities, events, and contents of Hfe, 
that possess only the character of a means for the realiza- 
tion of some positive value. Sweeping a room, the re- 
moving of a spot of grease from a dress with a cleaning 
fluid, the daily ride on the tram to the place of employ- 
ment, the filling out of a questionnaire for the purpose of 
receiving a passport, etc., these are all instrumental 
values. They are possible only in a kingdom of being 
where there is separation and scantiness of life: they are 
activities and contents of existence that have no inner 
connection with the complex system of life as a whole, 
but only with some one limited element of it. They can 
be repeated and replaced, and they are valued not for 
their relatively-individual content, but only for their 
connection with the purpose that is apprehended as an 
abstract conception. The more actions there are in the 
behaviour of a being that have the character of simply a 
means and the more often they are repeated, the more 
the tone of such a being's life falls: there are more 
ordinary, uninteresting events. 

As culture develops, a man more often sets up goals 
the attainment of which requires the realization" of a 


Value and Existence 

long series of means before the goal itself may be realized. 
From this, however, we should not draw the conclusion 
that the development of culture must necessarily be 
accompanied by the lowering of the tone of life. The art 
of life lies in the ability to complicate the interests of life 
and to deepen its organic aspect so that means cease to 
be simply means and at least in some aspects contain 
intrinsic aims, or at least are permeated and attractively 
lighted by reflections from that intrinsic aim for the sake 
of which they are being realized. Thus, a scientist spend- 
ing several years in preparation for a difficult scientific 
expedition, or a far-sighted politician like Bismarck, an 
active reformer like Peter the Great, could with en- 
thusiasm be effecting the instruments for a distant purpose, 
seeing in each instrument some intrinsic aim, or at least 
a reflection of that far-removed intrinsic aim. 


In the psycho-physical kingdom even in the process of 
normal evolution the greater part of the activities is 
directed toward the realization of the relative good: my 
self-preservation and the preservation of my family., my 
country, of humanity as psycho-physical (not spiritual) 
wholes, are a good for these particular beings, but this 
good is connected in some way with evil for other beings. 
This is the reason that the higher the degree of freedom 
from egoistic self-containment the agent has reached, the 
more sensitive he is to the bringing of any evil into the 
world, the more often his position becomes tragic. 

Even absolute values, under the conditions of psycho- 
physical life, frequently require, in order to guarantee 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Valises 

access to them and to preserve the conditions that make 
it possible to use them, the kind of actions which destroy 
those relative values which have intrinsic value for some 
subjects. The conspirators who assassinated Paul I, the 
highly gifted reformers,, such as Peter the Great, who 
destroy the old forms of life, the participants in civil 
wars, at times of great revolutions people who fight for 
absolute values, are living a painful tragedy because they 
are bringing evil into the world in their struggle for the 

Becoming a monk in a monastery does not give com- 
plete freedom from the evil which is inevitable in the 
kingdom of psycho-physical being. The life of a quiet 
cloister, even of seclusion, only decreases the number 
and variety of the manifestations of evil, but does not 
remove them completely. 

One might try to calm his conscience by denying the 
Christian ideal of the absolute good by means of a dogma 
which asserts that absolutely irrevocable laws of existence 
condition the forms of life in which the relativity of good 
is inevitable, i.e. the connection of good with evil cannot 
be removed. Such self-justification is a Satanic temptation. 
In reality the absolute good can be realized, and in the 
Kingdom of God it is realized, but we have fallen away 
from it and have created a sphere of life which "lies in 
evil" and without transfiguration cannot be in its content 
a pure good. To face this truth bravely, without trying 
to conceal from myself the admixture of evil and the 
imperfections which even the greatest heroic actions pos- 
sess in the psycho-physical kingdom, is possible only on 
the ground of the Christian conception of the world. 


Value and Existence 

Only the Christian conception of the world points the 
way to the ideal kingdom of being where complete free- 
dom from evil is reached not by the quenching of life, 
as Buddhism holds, but on the contrary, by acquiring 
the fulness of life; and not through the annihilation of 
individual peculiarities, but through the all-embracing 
unveiling of them. 

The sight of evil penetrating all the manifestations of 
life within the psycho-physical kingdom will not lead us 
to despondency and disbelief in the benevolence of the 
Creator of the world; it will not lead us to the "revolt" 
of Ivan Karamasoff and to the return of our "ticket" if 
we only realize that absolute values cannot be destroyed 
by any external power. The Kingdom of God, as we have 
seen, is inaccessible even to the blows of Satanic wrath. 
And even in our own psycho-physical kingdom only 
imperfect aspects and manifestations of existence, not 
the absolutely valuable existence itself, are destroyed, 
die out, and fall into the past. These imperfect aspects 
must perish sooner or later, so as not to interfere with the 
more perfect realization of the absolutely valuable nucleus 
that lies at their base. The love of Agnes, in Ibsen's Brand, 
for her child Alf does not terminate with his death. A 
true personal love is an ontological knitting together by 
growth of one super-temporal and super-spatial being 
with another, a union that is not destroyed by that pro- 
found change of body which is called death. The death 
of one of those who love may even elevate the quality 
of the communion with him: communion begins to take 
place as if immediately in the heart of the one who 
remains alive. This is what I. V. Kireevsky says about a 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

deceased friend who was spiritually close to one of us: 
"tie heart becomes a place where he dwells not only in 
thought, but he substantially permeates it." 1 And this is 
not surprising: our crude impenetrable bodies do make 
possible, it is true, external communion, but they are an 
obstacle to the establishment of the deeper inner connec- 
tions. The conjoining of lovers, especially in the organic 
union of the family, determines their further destiny 
without interruption until they commune with the 
Kingdom of God where personal love receives for the 
first time its full realization. There the absolute love for 
one being, because of the ideal connection of all indi- 
vidual characteristics into a bond, potentially includes 
in itself love for all other beings. This is the reason that 
only in the Kingdom of God can love be realized in all 
its purity and without any egoistical partialities to dimin- 
ish it. 

Like love, beauty and the true experience of beauty, 
even in the form accessible to us in the psycho-physical 
kingdom, are also indestructible. Let us recall how 
Olyenin, in Tolstoy's Cossacks, as he was nearing the 
Caucasus Mountains, saw for the first time in all its 
grandeur the range of mountains covered with snow. 

But the next day, early in the morning he was waked up 
by the coolness in his post-carriage, and looked out indiffer- 
ently toward the right. The morning was perfectly clear. 

Suddenly he saw, twenty paces distant from Mm, as it 
seemed at the first moment, the pure white mountain masses, 
with their tender outlines, and the fantastic, marvellous, 
perfect aerial contours of their summits and the far-off sky. 
1 Works, ii, p. 290. 


Value and Existence 

And when he comprehended all the distance between him 
and the mountains and the sky, all the majesty of the moun- 
tains, and when he realized all the endlessness of that beauty, 
he was alarmed lest it were an illusion, a dream. He shook 
himself so as to wake up. 

But the mountains were still the same. 

"What is that? Tell me what that is!" he asked of the 

"Oh! the mountains!" replied the Nogayets, indifferently. 

"And so I have been looking at them for a long time! 
Aren't they splendid ! They won't believe me at home !" said 

As the three-span flew swiftly over the level road, it seemed 
as if the mountains ran along the horizon, shining in the 
sunrise with their rosy summits. 

At first the mountains only surprised Olyenin, then they 
delighted him; but afterwards, as he gazed at this ever- 
increasing, constantly changing, chain of snow-capped moun- 
tains, not piled upon other dark mountains, but rising straight 
out of the steppe, little by little he began to get into the spkit 
of their beauty, and he felt the mountains. 

From that moment all that he had seen, all that he had 
thought, all that he had felt, assumed for him the new, sternly 
majestic character of the mountains. All his recollections of 
Moscow, his shame and his repentance, all his former fancies 
about the Caucasus all disappeared and never returned 

"Now life begins," seemed to be sounded into his ear by 
some solemn voice. And the road, the distant outline of the 
Terek, now coming into sight, and the post-stations, and the 
people all seemed to him no longer insignificant. 

He looks at the sky and remembers the mountains, he looks 
at himself, at Vanyusha, and again at the mountains ! 

Here two Cossacks appear on horseback, their muskets 
balanced over their backs, and rhythmically swinging as their 
horses gallop along with brown and grey legs intermingling; 
but the mountains ! . . . 

The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

Beyond the Terek., smoke seems to be rising from some 
aul> or native village; but the mountains ! . . . 

The sun stands high and gleams on the river winding 
among the reeds; but the mountains ! . . . 

From a Cossack station comes an aria, or native cart 
pretty women are riding in it, young women; but the moun- 
tains! . . . 

Abreks 1 gallop across the steppe, and I am coming, I fear 
them not, I have weapons and strength and youth; but the 
mountains ! . . . 2 

The beauty of the snow-capped mountains, their 
grandeur, harmony, and virgin purity, is only a symbol 
of the absolute beauty, of the absolute greatness and 
pureness. Therefore, the mountains themselves are not 
eternal and should not be eternal, but the beauty that 
they express is eternal, and the experience of this beauty 
remains in the soul forever, not in its psycho-physical 
concreteness, of course, which really is not concreteness, 
but is only a broken abstractness; however, it does 
remain in its meaning. This meaning like an overtone 
continues to sing in the soul, giving to everything a new 
character of solemnity and greatness and invariably 
keeping up, perhaps only in the sub-conscious or super- 
conscious sphere, the eros for beauty. 

The indelible trace remaining in the mind due to the 
experience of absolute values will never let the agent 
who has deviated from the normal course of develop- 
ment be satisfied with his position. He will always be 
tormented with the contradiction between his conduct, 

1 The hostile mountaineer who crosses over to the Russian side 
of the Terek for the purpose of theft or rapine is called abrek. 

2 From Tolstoy's Cossacks (translated by N. H. Dole). By per- 
mission of the Thomas Y. Crowell Company. 

Value and Existence 

full of evil, and the "eros" of the pure good, dimly 
revealed to him in the earthly experiences of absolute 
values. Sooner or later this contradiction will lead those 
who have lost their way out of the blind alley,, will induce 
them to leave the "sad songs of earth"; and even Satan 
himself, exhausted by the suffering due to his duplicity 
and deceptiveness, will perhaps become disappointed in 
the gloomy vastness of hell. 1 

Evil in the psycho-physical kingdom comes into being 
not only in connection with the realization of relative 
values, but even with the attempts to actualize the 
absolute values. There is, however, a profound difference 
between these two cases of the appearance of evil. The 
relative good, because of its very nature, is connected 
with evil for some beings. On the contrary, the absolute 
good by its very nature is a good for everybody, and if 
under the conditions of psycho-physical existence it is 
connected with evil for some agents, such evil really 
arises from the imperfect nature of these agents them- 
selves, or from the imperfect actualization of the absolute 
value. Indeed, even such an activity as the performing 
of one of the greatest symphonies of Beethoven might 
mean suffering for a scientist in the adjacent apartment 
if it interfered with his concentration on some important 

1 Johannes Scotus Erigena says 5 referring to St. Gregory Theologus, 
that wrattUs limited^ so that after he has experienced it to the end 
a sinner will sooner or kter turn to the course of good^ so that in 
the^end no evil will be left in anybody (De divisione naturae, v, p. 26). 
This hope of salvation for everybody can be founded not on the 
theory of evolution in accordance with law, but by the expectation 
of a voluntary conversion to the good on the part of all beings who 
have experienced the hideousness of evil and who have condemned 
their past conduct. 

The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

and difficult scientific work. It also may be disagreeable 
to a person who is not engaged in any activity, if he has 
no ability to perceive music and hears only disorderly 
combinations of sounds, without comprehending the 
beautiful whole. In both cases evil arises not from the 
nature of the beautiful music itself, but from the limited 
character of the afflicted persons themselves who are the 
ones responsible for their limitations. However, there 
may be a third possibility: the performance of even a 
beautiful composition by the best artists cannot be 
absolutely perfect in the psycho-physical kingdom of 
being. Disagreeable squeaks, rattles, and noises are 
invariably mixed with the music, and torment a 
sensitive ear. In this case evil arises not from the 
nature of the absolute value itself, and also not from 
the limited nature of the afflicted beings, but from the 
imperfection of the performer and of the means of 

The doctrine that absolute values are indestructible 
and that the nature of absolute value itself is such that 
it will of itself never bring evil, might lead some uninvited 
"benefactors" of the human race, people with a revolu- 
tionary character, to the belief that they have a right to 
destroy all obstacles in their way for the sake of the 
absolute values for which they are fighting. (In reality 
their struggle is usually not for absolute values, but only 
for relative values, which they mistake for absolute values.) 
Certainly, such a thought is a Satanic temptation. Although 
only relative positive values are destroyed, and the 
process of normal evolution is impossible without such 
destruction, still a sensitive conscience forbids many such 


Value and Existence 

types of destruction, or, if it does permit some of them, 
it experiences the destruction as tragic. We will not go 
into this question any further, since it belongs in the 
sphere of ethics, and not in the general theory of 
value. 1 


There are many factors which help to make the rela- 
tivistic theory of values, i.e. the theory according to which 
all values are relative, the more common. In the first 
place, we should keep in mind, as was already pointed 
out, that the inorganic conception of the world neces- 
sarily leads to a relativistic axiology. Moreover, experience 
obligingly presents us with a multitude of facts which 
appear as a very convincing confirmation of this deduction 
firom the inorganic conception of the world. Indeed, in 
the kingdom of psycho-physical being actually the 
greater part of the activities and contents of existence 
belong to the realm of the relative good, i.e. they are 
necessarily connected with evil. Moreover, for the agents 
of the psycho-physical kingdom the absolute values 
themselves are not objects of striving (also of contem- 
plation and faith) without the possibility of their realiza- 
tion. The realization of the absolute values may be 
attained only in the Kingdom of God. The attempts at 
the realization of absolute values in the psycho-physical 
kingdom are connected with evil. Those who do not see 
that this evil does not arise from the nature of absolute 
value itself, but from its imperfect realization, or from 

1 As to the inevitable tragedy of the sinful life^ see B. Visheslavtsev^ 
The Heart in Christian and Indian Mysticism (in Russian). 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

the imperfect use of it, come to the erroneous conclusion 
that absolute values do not exist at all. 

Finally, there is one more important circumstance that 
furnishes a motive for relativism. We should distinguish, 
as Scheler has pointed out, between the norms of be- 
haviour and the values corresponding to them, and keep 
in mind that one and the same value under different 
conditions can be the source of different, sometimes of 
even reciprocal norms. So, for example, the contention 
that "the personal value of one person is equal to that of 
another person" under different conditions can give 
rise to two reciprocal norms : "take care of others" and 
"take care of yourself." 1 


From the definitions given above, and the doctrines 
expounded in connection with them, it follows that 
positive values are not equal; there are differences between 
them: differences of rank, differences of merit. First of 
all, it is obvious that instrumental values are lower than 
intrinsic values; then among intrinsic values absolute 
intrinsic values stand higher than relative intrinsic 
values. Then, in each one of these groups there are 
peculiar differences in rank: among the absolute intrinsic 
values all-embracing stand higher than partial; among 
the all-embracing values the primordial values, i.e. 
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, 
stand higher than the created values. 

1 M. Scheler, Der Formalismus in der Ethik 3 p. 219; also other 
considerations of Scheler against relativism and scepticism in ethics, 
pp. 306-20. 


Value and Existence 

Among relative values the ranks are determined in 
part by the steps of normal evolution. Thus, for instance, 
on the earth the biological values are on the whole higher 
than the values of inorganic nature, the values of the 
social process are higher than the biological values. To 
classify values into groups according to their rank would 
be possible only by having a thoroughly developed theory 
of the system of values and such a complete table of 
them as was given by Miinsterberg in his The Eternal 

Having no intention of developing such a system, it 
will suffice also in the doctrine of rank if I simply defend 
this theory. Many phases of the question have been 
determined by M. Scheler in his Der Formalismus in der 
Ethiky also by N. Hartmann in his Ethik, and by W. 
Stern in his Wert-philosophie. 

Heyde rejects altogether the difference of rank in 
values. He says that every value can possess different 
degrees: I may prefer a restful vacation trip to a small 
moral act; I may prefer the pleasure of a walk to the 
negligible aesthetic value of a theatrical performance, etc. 1 
The examples cited by Heyde do not, in reality, compel 
us at all to give up the doctrine of rank in values, i.e. the 
doctrine of the difference in their inner merit. These 
examples only indicate that in selecting between several 
values under the conditions of psycho-physical being we 
have to be guided not only by the rank, but also by other 
qualities of values, for example, by the fact that the non- 
realization of some inferior positive value (say nutrition) 
leads to the appearance of different destructive negative 
1 Heyde, Wert, p. 186. 


The Fundamental Characteristics of Values 

values (illness^ death, etc.)- 1 From this it follows that the 
preference of a value must be determined by its rank 
only when the other bases are equal. 


I. Intrinsic Values. 

1. Absolute Intrinsic Values. 

A. All-embracing absolute intrinsic values. 

(a) Primordial all-embracing absolute intrinsic 

values (God the Father^ God the Son, and 

God the Holy Spirit). 
(&) Created all-embracing absolute intrinsic 

values (actual and potential members of the 

Kingdom of God). 

B. Partial all-embracing absolute intrinsic values (acts 

and characteristics of God and of members of 
the Kingdom of God). 

2. Relative Intrinsic Values, 

A. Social relative intrinsic values. 

B. Biological relative intrinsic values. 

C. Inorganic relative intrinsic values. 
II. Instrumental Values. 

1 See N. Hartmann's theory of the existence of two kws of 
preference: the preference of value because of its height, and the 
preference of value because of its strength, meaning by the expression 
"strength of value" the onerous character of the disvalue (Umoert) 
that becomes effective if the value is not realized (Ethik 9 English 
trans. 3 ii> p. 455). 



Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 


Values make their appearance in the subject's con- 
sciousness only by way of the subject's feelings being 
intentionally directed upon them. When associated with 
the subject's feelings the values become values experienced 
by him. Even in the subject's pre-consciousness values 
are already connected with positive or negative pre- 
feelings. Thus, in our relations with other people, the 
moral purity of a young man, the tenderness of a girl, 
the courage,, the dependability, the strength of a man, the 
quarrelsome character of a duellist, the sombreness of a 
melancholic, or the sternness of an "inquisitor" are 
usually given to us not only theoretically as existence 
which is the object of observation; but they are also 
experienced as values, as something worthy of existence 
or not, or something acceptable or not, by an infinite 
variety of feelings. We usually have no special words for 
the expression of these feelings, so that we have to name 
them descriptively by pointing out their object; for 
example, the feeling of purity, the feeling of tenderness, 
etc. Sometimes the feelings of an observer are like the 
feelings by which the observed person himself experiences 
his own manifestations and qualities. Such, for example, 
is the feeling of tenderness. Sometimes they are different 
from the feelings of the person observed; for example, 
the feeling of trust in a person who depends on his 


Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 

friend for something; and the feeling of the preservation 
of mood and will in the friend himself. 

A similar richness of feeling also gives us a relation 
to nature. The perception of a landscape as a whole, the 
perception of each colour separately., of each sound;, each 
smell, each taste, and the perception of them in different 
combinations in consciousness all of these are clothed 
with the experience of various feelings. Likewise, all the 
mental and spiritual activities of man, as well as Ms 
biological functions, are saturated with positive or nega- 
tive feelings. Pleasure and displeasure are the most 
common, but likewise the most elementary feelings. The 
beauty and fulness of life are, however, experienced not 
so much in the simple feeling of pleasure, as in the 
infinitely diverse and complex feelings mentioned above. 

We cannot but agree with Scheler that feeling is a 
special kind of awareness in which values are given. 
Scheler calls his theory "emotional intuitionalism," indi- 
cating by this term the immediate givenness of trans- 
subjective values in the feelings of the subject. 1 In 
distinction from Scheler, however, from the standpoint 
of our own ontological ideal-realistic axiology, according 
to which existence itself in its significance for the fulness 
of life is a value, we assume that the words "delightful, " 
"exalted," "beautiful," or the words "noble," "trivial," 
"courageous," "cowardly," when we express by them our 
experience of an object, indicate the following complex 
fact of consciousness which has a subjective and a trans- 
subjective aspect: the subjective side consists in the fact 
that the observer experiences his own subjective "feeling 

1 Der Formalismus in der Ethik s pp. xi, 64* 261-9. 

K 145 

Value and Existence 

of delight," "feeling of exaltedness," "feeling of beauty/' 
"feeling of nobleness/' etc.., while the trans-subjective 
side is the perceived object of the outer world with its 
colours, sounds, and actions in that wholeness which 
gives it its specific merit and specific significance for the 
fulness of being, the significance which is experienced 
by the observer in the "feeling of deUghtfulness," the 
"feeling of nobleness," etc. 

The awareness and the experiences thus far mentioned 
are not as yet knowledge. They have a primary practical 
importance as possible directors of our behaviour. But 
in order for them to gain theoretical importance, i.e. to 
become knowledge, intentional acts of cognition are 
necessary on the part of the observer. These intentional 
acts must be directed both upon the outer object and 
upon the feelings with which the object is clothed in 
consciousness. These acts are differentiation, abstraction, 
inference, etc., and they result in the judgment of value, 
the knowledge of value. 

For most of our acts of behaviour it is sufficient to 
have a consciousness of values, or even a pre-conscious 
experience of them, and a cognition of values is not 
necessary. But at a certain level of development per- 
ceptual activity directed upon values is useful for the 
working out of a rational system of behaviour. Now, if 
we distinguish in this way the practical experience of 
values by means of the feelings, from the theoretical 
identification of them by means of knowledge, we may 
accept the emotional intuitionalism of Scheler for the 
practical sphere of action, and at the same time, in 
speaking of the cognition of values, we may assert that 


Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 

it may be gained by a theoretical intuition similar to that 
by which all other knowledge is gained. 1 

Therefore we may say with Heyde that valuation is 
not a special kind of knowledge^ but knowledge about a 
certain object (op. tit., p. I55). 2 


A value situation, positive or negative, experienced as 
an actuality, or foretasted in imagination or judgment., 
etc if it is in our power to control is accompanied by 
a striving to cause it to remain, or to remove it; to make 
it real or to avert its realization. Values in themselves 
contain no force which could cause or create the strivings 
and actions of the subject. The dynamic moment of 
striving and action belongs to the subject himself, to the 
substantival agent, and to nobody else. (It would be 
better to say "nothing else" because the words "who" 
and "nobody" can be used only in application to sub- 
stantival agents.) The illusion that value is itself a force 3 
springs up because the substantival agent is not an 
abstract bearer of power, torn away from his experiences, 
but a concrete individual whole, permeated with the 
fundamental striving for the absolute fulness of being. 
Therefore, everything that relates to the absolute fulness 

1 For the intuitional theory in gnoseology, see the "Introduction" 
to my Logic (translated into German as Handbuch der Logik). 

2 See also N. Hartmann's theory in his EtJnk that value-knowledge 
is a theoretical activity in no less a degree than our knowledge about 
space (English trans., i, p. 219). 

3 N. Hartmann, for example, says that value is power which causes 
existence to lose its balance and to strive beyond itself, tendiert fiber 
Jnnaus (English trans., i, pp. 272, 273). However, in Hi, p. 219, he 
says that values have no power, that power belongs to the human will. 

Value and Existence 

of being, as its moment, as a means, or as something in 
counter-opposition to it, does not leave the agent in- 
different, but becomes his experience, charged with force. 
However, if we mentally differentiate the experiences of 
the agent in time from the super-temporal agent himself, 
it is easy to see that the power necessary for the action 
is forthcoming not from the experience of value, but 
from the ego itself. Therefore the ego remains, or may 
remain, the ruler of the action. 

It is true, in the psycho-physical kingdom the ego in 
the great majority of cases lowers itself into a condition 
of slavery, in so far as it is satisfied with the most common 
type of behaviour, the satisfaction of its passions, laziness, 
etc. A close scrutiny, however, reveals that this is only 
a relative slavery, for formal freedom (although not 
positive material freedom) is still preserved. This means 
that the source of actions is in the sovereign super- 
temporal ego itself, and that the actions are not deter- 
mined at all with necessity by its temporal experiences. 1 

The realization of a striving is an act of will. We are 
giving to the term "act of will" an exceedingly wide 
meaning. We use this term to designate every action 
which has a purposive character, independent of the fact 
as to whether the striving which lies at its base has a 
psychic or a psychoidal character. Therefore, we may 
assert that not only the whole life of man, but also the 
life of all the substantival agents of the universe, can be 
divided up into sections consisting of acts of will, or, at 
any rate, of the first few links of these acts. Thus 
voluntarism is a theory that is useful not only for the 

1 See Freedom of the Will 
I 4 8 

Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 

working out of a psychological system, but also for the 
understanding of all the processes in the universe. 1 

According to this theory the whole world in its activity 
has a teleological character., not, of course, in the sense 
of teleological determinism, i.e. rational predetermination 
but in the sense of voluntary purposive activity. N. Hart- 
mann's objections to world-teleology, in particular his 
assertion that world-teleology would take away from 
man the power of determining anything, because in such 
a case everything would be predetermined for Mm, are 
rather weak. The weakness lies in the fact that in dis- 
cussing this question he has in mind only two possi- 
bilities: (i) teleological determinism, and (2) causal 
determinism. He misses the third possibility: free pur- 
posive activity, i.e. an ^deterministic teleology in which 
it is possible to have false aims, unsuccessful attempts, 
trials, getting into blind alleys, with a return to the same 
place for new attempts, etc. 

There is no constraining power in the composition of 
values, nor is there any actual necessity of realizing them. 2 
Absolute intrinsic values possess an inner merit, and 
hence in loving them we realize that our love is intrinsi- 
cally justified. This theory differs from that of F. Brentano 
in this way: we find the primary criterion of the good 

1 For a Voluntaristic Psychology see ray book. Die Grundlehren 
der Psychologic vom Standpunkte des Voluntarismus. In this book the 
first step of action^ the striving, is looked upon as a foretasting of 
the aim a and as accompanied only by the feelings of pleasure or 
displeasure. I would now correct this theory by pointing out that 
along with these feelings an infinite number of other feelings has 
to be introduced. (See chap. vi 3 "Pleasure and Displeasure/* 2, "The 
Connection between Pleasure and Striving," p. 147.) 

2 See Munsterberg's objection to Bicker^ pp. 51-7; Scheler, 
p. 210; Heyde, p. 74; Hartmann, Ethik. 


Value and Existence 

not in this internally justified love, but rather in the 
objective inner merit of the object itself that is loved. 1 

Every subject possesses: (i) a striving for the absolute 
fulness of being, and (2) an individual normative idea, 
which determines that possible peculiar part he should 
play in the kingdom of complete realization of the 
absolute values. From this it is clear that absolute values 
are immediately apprehended the representatives of trans- 
cendental idealism would say, "are apprehended a priori" 
as something worth loving and realizing. This imme- 
diate consciousness is the basic moment of conscience. 2 

In the event of contradiction arising between different 
values, a thing which often happens in the psycho- 
physical kingdom, the preference and realization of that 
value which lies on the course of the normal evolution 
leading to the threshold of the Kingdom of God are 
experienced as that which ought to be. Sometimes such 
preference may be expressed in norms, i.e. judgments 
limiting behaviour normatively. In the ideal unity of 
will and value, to the realistic experience of that which 
ought to be, there corresponds an ideal moment, an ideal 
of that which ought to be> necessarily connected with the 
eidetic structure of the will; and the will is governed by 
a normative idea of the individual participation in the 
absolute fulness of being. This is the moment which 
N. Hartmann calls ideales Seinsollen (Eng. trans., i, 
p. 247). 

If the protoplastic (first-created) essence of the agent 

1 For Brentano's theory see his Vom Ursprung der Sittlicken 
Erkenntnis 3 Philos. BibL 3 p. 55. 

2 N. Hartmamij Eihik (English trans i, pp. 67^ 68). 


Siibjectwe-Psychic Experience of Values 

furnishes him with such a dependable means of choosing 
the right course as conscience and the ability to experience 
that which ought to be, then, it seems, he would be 
insured against mistakes. As a matter of fact, however, 
our behaviour in the kingdom of psycho-physical being 
is full of mistakes and false steps. How can this be? To 
answer this question let us remind ourselves that the will 
of the agent is free: the normative idea, conscience, the 
sense of duty, or the feeling of value does not necessitate 
action on the part of the agent, and does not cause his 
behaviour. The super-spatial and super-temporal agent 
manifests his creative power in different directions on 
his own account, relying on all his abilities and temporal 
experiences, but does not subordinate himself to them. 
Besides, the normative idea, conscience, etc., have no 
power to act so as to create new events and to make 
changes in the agent. He had before him, when he made 
his first act of selection, two values from which to choose. 
One of these was the highest value as God's existence, 
and the other was a value lower in comparison with God 
Himself, the value of an active participation of a creature 
in the Divine fulness of being on the ground of self- 
denying love for God and reverence for His perfection. 
Now it was impossible for the agent to prefer the highest 
value and to desire to become God himself. Such a 
choice is the preference of the value of one's own ego 
to the value of God. It creates an empirical character 
of selfishness, that is, it creates a more or less stable love 
for one's own self greater than one's love for God. 
Earlier we have differentiated two such types of selfish- 
ness: (i) pride which contests with God, which cannot 

Value and Existence 

bear God's supremacy and is striving to overthrow Hinb 
and (2) selfishness which strives to possess all the 
blessings, but which does not contest with God, and is 
able to acknowledge His superiority and perfection, and 
even to love God and His creatures, giving, however, 
the preference to itself. The first type of selfishness is 
Satanic, the second is earthly and belongs to psycho- 
physical being. 

It is possible that a deeper examination of Satanic 
existence would cause us to distinguish not only the two 
kingdoms of the world's existence discussed in my book, 
The World as an Organic Whole, the Kingdom of God 
and the psycho-physical kingdom, but three adding to 
these two the kingdom of Satanic existence. 

The thought that there exist beings who are jealous 
of God's superiority and contest with Him seems an 
amusing fiction to the ordinary human mind. But cases 
of this kind are often to be met with. Once I talked 
with a young poet who did not believe in the existence 
of God. After I had considered his illogical arguments 
and the emotional grounds upon which they rested, I 
ventured to tell him that his denial of the existence of 
God was probably caused not by reasons of the mind, 
but by a pride that would not permit the existence of a 
being who was unapproachably perfect. About two years 
later I received a letter from him in which he said that 
I was right, and that he had changed his views. Suzuki, 
the Japanese defender of Neo-Buddhism, says in his 
book, Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism^ that if Buddhism 
is described as a religion without a God and without a 
soul, or simply as atheism, its adherents will not object, 


Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 

because the conception of a Supreme Being who is 
superior to His creatures and arbitrarily interferes with 
their affairs is extremely offensive to a Buddhist. 1 
Amongst the followers of pantheism, amongst those who 
preach self-redemption, the salvation of self, and the 
incompatibility of morality with a religious belief in 
redemption by God, there are many persons deep in 
whose souls there lies a proud aversion to the admission 
of the existence of a being who is on an infinitely higher 
level than their ego. 

Conscience and the consciousness of that which ought 
to be, or even an instinctive experience of it, condemn 
both kinds of apostacy from God. The good that is 
reached by these false paths represents only unimportant 
bits of existence instead of the absolute fulness of .being. 
Hence, they do not give complete satisfaction. However, 
the pain of conscience and other sufferings do not destroy 
the freedom of agents and do not predetermine their 
behaviour in one particular fashion. Some agents respond 
to these sufferings by entering on the course of Satanic 
evolution, i.e. they respond with an even greater hatred 
of the good, and elaborate their activities which are in 
opposition to God. Other agents respond by seeking the 
paths of normal evolution. Actually, these paths have to 
be sought out with great difficulty. The apostacy from 
God and His Kingdom is, so to speak, an anti-trans- 
figuration of the agent. As was shown above, earthly 
selfishness leads an agent to his relative isolation from 
all other agents. It leaves him dependent on his own 
powers alone. His union with all other beings remains 

1 Page 31. 

Value and Existence 

only in the form of abstract consubstantiality, pre- 
consciousness, and pre-feeling. Led by his selfishness, 
the agent does not participate in existences alien to him 
by means of a sacrificial experience of them. Rather he 
tears out of them only insignificant bits, suitable for his 
selfish use, and taking them alone out of pre-conscious- 
ness he includes them as a part of that with which he 
lives. Thus he lives in his own world which represents 
only parts chosen out of the whole universe of actuality. 
Creating for himself a relatively impenetrable body, and 
strengthening, by the body's actions and reactions, his 
connections with some particular sides of the world, he 
cuts himself off from other influences of the world. 
Thus, he increases still more the peculiarity of his own 
environment which is different from the environment of 
other beings. Possessing, due to his isolation, weak 
creative powers, and having created conditions that lead 
to the incompatibility of many values, he, on the one 
hand, suffers from the scantiness of his life; but, on the 
other hand, he finds a refuge in his isolated life from 
the problems that are beyond his power, due to his 
weakened condition. He does not live with all values, 
but only with a more or less narrowly outlined sphere 
of them. The narrowness of value-consciousness (Enge 
des Wertbewusstseins) well characterized by N. Hart- 
mann in his Ethik is characteristic of him. In his tiny 
world made up of bits of the universe, the perspective 
for correct valuation is destroyed. Some elements are 
experienced in connection with powerful bodily reactions 
and passions, while others are crowded into the back- 
ground. The first have their value over-emphasized; the 

Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 

others are unjustly under-estimated. If we add to this 
the weakness of the intellect, conditioned as it is by a 
weakness of power in a relatively isolated subject, if we 
add also Ms imperfect cognition of objects, the incom- 
pleteness of deduction and prognostication of conse- 
quences, the plentiful mistakes in knowledge then it is 
seen more clearly that an agent in the psycho-physical 
kingdom is fated to make many mistakes in valuing 
objects, and many mistakes in preferring one value to 
another. 1 

Under the conditions of a sundered existence, neither 
the conscience of relatively highly developed beings, nor 
the instinct on the primary levels of existence guarantees 
beings against mistakes. To these fundamental guides 
experience must be added to discover the path of normal 
evolution. Thus it becomes clear that in real existence 
there cannot be a clear-cut line of normal evolution. 
Trials, deviations from the correct way, getting into 
blind alleys, and the search for the way out of them, are 
unavoidable in the realm of evolution. 

If it is taken into consideration that relative good is 
by its own nature connected with evil, and that even the 
absolute good is accompanied by evil under the conditions 
of the psycho-physical kingdom even though this evil 
does not come from the nature of the absolute good 
itself then the sad picture of the life of beings who are 
condemning themselves to the life of the psycho-physical 
kingdom is outlined still more clearly before us. Each 

1 Concerning some of the sources of such mistakes see Meinong's 
Psychologisch-ethische Untersuchungm zur Wert-theorie 3 p. n; also 
Ehrenfels* System der Wert-theorie, p. 102. 

Value and Existence 

object, deed, thing, or being always calls forth ambi- 
valenticihe term of the psychiatrist Bleuler or twofold 
reactions of feeling and will. On the one hand an object 
is experienced as pleasing, beautiful, etc., and so desirable, 
while on the other hand it is experienced as unpleasant, 
or dangerous, etc., and so undesirable. The uncertainty 
as to what to choose, the impossibility of being pleased 
by the customary, introduces difficult situations at every 
step. This is owing to the fact that every object is many- 
sided and, met in different surroundings, requires in the 
different cases different valuations and different decisions 
of the will. This is the reason why many subjects are 
inclined to believe in ethical relativism and subjectivism, 
and are led to a scepticism which undermines their 
energy in the battle for the good. However, in all this 
mixture, and, as it seems, capricious unstability, there 
are hidden everywhere objective values significant for all. 
If a savage does not care for a machine, and values a 
piece of mirror highly this example is used by Kreibig 
in support of the subjectivity and relativity of values it 
only follows that the savage makes a subjective choice 
from the given objective values. It does not follow from 
the subjectivity of the choice that the thing chosen is 
subjective. 1 

It is even more difficult to recognize the objectivity of 
values and the actual presence of absolute values than 
to defend the objectivity and absoluteness of truth in 
gnoseology. This is owing to the fact that in the conditions 
of our life complex, different and contradictory feelings 
permeate all our experiences of value. But in order to 

1 See Scheler, pp. 21 i, 275. 

Subjective-Psychic Experience of Values 

hold a straight course of conduct in the direction of the 
Kingdom of God with God at the head of it, it is no 
less necessary to defend absoluteness and objectivity in 
axiology than it is to defend absoluteness and objectivity 
in gnoseology. 



Characteristic Features of Value as the 
Absolute Fulness of Being 


The Nature of Consciousness 

THERE has been latent in the whole conception of value 
presented in this book a unique theory of consciousness. 
Since value is always connected with a subject or person^ 
there is no value possible apart from life and those 
activities that are either conscious or an undeveloped 
basis of consciousness. 

It is quite clear that the metaphysics of this axiology 
are a transfigured Neo-Platonism^ a Platonism that is 
transformed and remoulded in many of its vital concep- 
tions. The theory of consciousness is one of the notions 
that are most vitally changed; but the change brings it 
more nearly into line with the organic side of the Platonic 
tradition. It now becomes a conception that is harmonious 
with the metaphysics, elides., and aesthetics of even 
traditional Neo-Platonism; for there was present in the 
older conception an ambiguous theory of the mind. The 
relation of sense-knowledge to the universals immanent 
in the nous or higher faculty of the mind was conceived 
in such a manner as to lead to a paradox. 

The Neo-Platonist admitted a kind of validity to our 
sense-experience by making it a lower kind of knowledge, 1 
Through the operations of the imagination and of 
"sympathy" the soul gave meaning to the sensations. 2 

The Philosophy of Plotinus (2nd ed.)> i* p. 222; Plotinus* 
Enneads 3 6. 7. 7. 

2 Inge, op. cit., i a p. 223; Enneads, 4. 4. 40. 

L 161 

Value and Existence 

As there were intellectual distinctions even in sense- 
perception so there seemed to be an activity of thought 
present even there. But sensation was uninteresting 
because spirit alone could adequately know the world. 
The object as perceived by sensation did not exist in the 
soul. 1 Our perception of the object is merely an image 
or a dream of the soul. Now spirit can know the world 
because it participates in the higher world of spiritual 
reality. Thus sense-knowledge is merely a step towards 
the knowledge of participation and has validity only in 
so far as it leads to spiritual perception. Yet there was a 
kind of reality granted to the world of physical objects 
existing in time and space, but there was no valid know- 
ledge of it possible. We know the realm of spirit because 
we participate in it. We have mathematical and intel- 
lectual knowledge because it is an aspect of the realm of 
spirit; but there is no adequate knowledge of the world 
of space-time activity. That is merely a knowledge of 
images. It was the disrespect for the realm of time 5 space^ 
and movement which caused the Neo-Platonist to be no 
more concerned than he was by this paradoxical element 
in his theory of knowledge. He reduced the world of 
change to an illusory world; and yet he recognized that 
there was a kind of reality about the world of space 
and time. But he did not adequately account for our 
knowledge of this changing world which in a sense is 

Because the spirit participates in the ultimate life of 
reality^ the forms that are immanent in it are identically 
the same forms as those immanent in the physical object. 
1 Inge 3 op. cit i, p. 223; Enneads* 5. 5. i. 


The Nature of Consciousness 

We must say that they are identical because the Neo- 
Platonist was a realist and not a nominalist. For him as 
for Aristotle., "where the objects are immaterial that 
which thinks and that which is thought are one and the 
same." 1 Now, if we follow this through, the categories 
of thought are identical with the categories of reality. 2 
If this is true, there is no parallel between thought and 
object, at least as far as the categories are concerned. 
When we rightly think the object, we participate in the 
reality of the thing in so far as it is characterized by form 
and order. To be sure, we do not participate in the 
sensory qualities of the thing. The thing in so far as it 
embodies universals, and the thing as cognized, are not 
two but one. 

Thus, there is an immanence of "all in all" as far as 
the intellectual forms are concerned. When rightly 
thinking the nature of an object, that object as intellectual 
form is actually immanent in my mind. Now some of 
the present-day scholastics have understood this, and 
have recently been opposing the sharp dualism and 
subjectivism of the Neo-Scholastics, Such a thinker is 
Gredt, who is critical of the thinking of the Neo- 
Schokstic Mercier. 3 But as one reads Neo-Platonic 
authors he has the impression that the "forms" imma- 
nent in physical reality are not identically those immanent 
in the perceiving mind. 

Neo-Platonism developed a very remarkable insight: 
it freed Aristotle's doctrine of the intellect as the "form 

1 Aristotle, De anima^ 430^ 3; Inge, op. cit., ii 5 p. 49. 

2 Inge, op. cit ii, pp. 56, 57. 

3 Unsere Aussenweh* pp. 9 if. 

Value and Existence 

of forms" from Aristotle's sensationalism. By making the 
eternal forms immanent in the intellect of the knowing 
mind it gave an explanation to Plato's conception of the 
eternal ideas as inborn. We no longer have the forms 
explained by a mythological theory of memory., but 
rather a conception of the forms as actually immanent 
in the human mind. 

But owing to the fact that sensations were considered 
to be images and not really of the stuff of knowledge., 
the reality of physical objects was supposed to be outside 
the mind of the knowing subject. Thus,, the theory of 
epistemological dualism was used to explain the per- 
ception of sense-objects, But epistemological dualism 
naturally leads to the notion of a parallelism between 
thought and thing, and when this is done, the categories 
of thought themselves tend to be thought of as parallel 
to the categories of reality. 

Thus,, because of its theory of sense-knowledge, Neo- 
Platonism tended to make the categories of thought 
subjective. And so it came to think of the intellect as 
the inner organ which helped us to find the meaning of 
the external world. Now, rightly or wrongly, this inter- 
pretation was the one accepted by the Renaissance and 
Cambridge Platonists. The theory of inwardness swallowed 
up the conception of the immanence of the object as an 
intellectual form within the mind. It was this doctrine 
of inwardness and epistemological dualism that gave us 
our modern tendency towards subjectivity. And this 
subjective theory destroyed the possibility of the coherent 
and organic metaphysics of Neo-Platonism. The meta- 
physics of Neo-Platonism are a theory of the immanence 


The Nature of Consciousness 

of "all In all," if only an immanence to a small extent. 1 
But one aspect of its epistemology leads to the theory 
of Leibniz, where the soul has neither windows 
nor doors. For Leibniz all my experience is immanent 
in my mind, but my experience is only a copy of 
reality. 2 

Most of modern thought has followed the theory that 
the whole content of the external object transcends 
human experience. However, if we follow out the sugges- 
tion latent in the doctrine of the immanence of the same 
universal in both thought and thing, and if we expand 
it by the doctrine of the immanence of "all in all/ 5 we 
have the conception of intuitionalism as a theory of 
knowledge. Intuitionalism makes the organic theory of 
Neo-Platonism effective in its epistemology. 

By intuition we do not mean an irrationalism in the 
theory of knowledge, as Bergson does, nor do we mean 
that abstraction and analysis have no place in thought. 
Rather, we mean that all objects, processes, forms, and 
beings may be made explicit, under ideal conditions, as 
natively immanent in the consciousness of the knowing 
individual. Traditional Neo-Platonism made all universals 
immanent in the mind of the knowing subject. This was 
merely a beginning of the reformation of the whole 
concept of consciousness. If we carry out this reforma- 

1 This paradox is illustrated by Henry More's theory of an organic 
metaphysics connected with nominalism and the conception of our 
knowledge of all reality as phenominal. See Mackinnon^ The Philo- 
sophical Writings of Henry More, pp. 260, 261, 280. 

2 It was the new stress on observation in natural science that 
caused Neo-Platonism to become completely subjective. The world 
of change became significant in a manner quite foreign to traditional 
Neo-Platonism . 


Value and Existence 

tion, not only the forms are immanent but everything 
else is immanent in the knowing mind. 

Now there is a philosophy of immanence in the theory 
of knowledge called "Immanentism," but it makes 
everything immanent in the knowing mind by reducing 
the theory of knowledge to a type of solipsism. The theory 
here presented as an aspect of Neo-Platonism is obviously 
not solipsism. Everything is, to be sure, potentially 
immanent in my mind,, but my mind in addition to 
everything else is also immanent in every other indi- 
vidual's mind. It is the theory., then., of the mutual 
immanence of "all in all" for knowledge. 

In such a conception there is no need for several 
faculties of cognition,, since intellectual knowledge is not 
the only type of knowledge that involves immanence. 
Intellectual knowledge differs from sensory knowledge 
only in the object upon which attention is turned. The 
intellectual forms are immanent in reality, even in 
physical objects, and are cognized by attention being 
directed upon them. Even super-temporal and super- 
spatial concrete beings such as selves are known when 
attention is directed upon them. 

Thus the faculty psychology of traditional Neo- 
Platonism disappears and is replaced by a functional 
theory of the psychic processes. The self or ego directs 
its attention upon different types of reality immanent in 
its consciousness. As a self it acts as a striving being. 
Striving is a feeling-willing process. The ego attends to 
different types and aspects of objects. Thus sensory 
experience and intellectual experience differ only because 
the objects to which the subject attends differ; but they 


The Nature of Consciousness 

do not represent a difference of faculty on the part of 
the attending subject. 

Our analysis above has treated ever yttung that is known 
or may be known as immanent in the consciousness of 
the knowing individual. If we wish to use the word 
consciousness to cover both the psychic processes of the 
self and the objects upon which attention is directed, we 
may say that the objects known, even though they be 
trees and flowers, form the objective side of consciousness. 
But the term psychic is a more sharply defined one. It 
means the mental activities of the self. Now, obviously, 
a tree or a flower is not a mental activity. It is that to 
which attention is directed when we perceive a tree or a 
flower, and, even as cognized or perceived, forms no part 
of the psychic content of consciousness. 

So, when we study mind we are studying will and 
feeling as aspects of attention and we are studying the 
general activities of attention; but we are not studying 
sensations or perceptions as the "sensed" or the per- 
ceived. We are studying the processes of sensing and 
perceiving, for they are merely special kinds of attention, 
but not the content perceived. Psychology, which deals 
with the psychic, should not deal with the sensa, logical 
forms, or the perceptual content. These all belong to 
other fields of knowledge, and not to psychology. 

Psychology deals with psychic events as the activities 
of a striving and attending subject, and should not be 
confused with the theory of knowledge, which deals with 
the general nature of objects immanent in conscious- 
ness in so far as they are a revelation of truth. To under- 
stand the nature of the theory of knowledge we must 


Value and Existence 

examine the complete nature of consciousness more 

Consciousness is possible because the self is joined 
together with all other parts of the world by ideal forms, 
spiritual links that weld it together with the rest of the 
world. Not only consciousness is made possible by these 
spiritual links, but other types of spiritual activity as 
well such as the creative activity that has been made 
possible by space, time, causality, number, etc. These 
forms also have logical significance, as we shall see 
further on. 

But consciousness is made possible by the knitting 
together of the self and its world by a form of connection 
that makes everything immanent in everything else for 
knowledge. This connection is called gnoseological coor- 
dination. It merely asserts this mutual immanence of 
subjects in knowledge. Consciousness thus involves at 
least a subject and an object, and the ideal connection 
between them. Thus consciousness transcends the limits 
of individuality, and involves super-individual connec- 
tions. But the psychic or mental side of knowledge 
involves only the activity of the subject directed upon 
the object. Consciousness thus involves more than the 

Now, the theory of knowledge is interested in the 
objective side of consciousness. Judgment is possible 
because the intentional acts of the self may be directed 
to something immanent in consciousness but not a part 
of the psychic life of the knowing individual. Judgment 
is also possible because the content of reality immanent 
in consciousness is knit together by ideal forms. These 


The Nature of Consciousness 

ideal forms ate a part of the real worfd> quite indepen- 
dent of any act of cognition on the part of the knowing 
subject. They are forms that knit together the world 
itself into a unity. 

Now judgment and inference are possible because the 
objective side of consciousness is the real world, or at 
least some aspect of it; and because the real world is 
bound together by ideal forms. Since the world is con- 
nected by ideal forms 5 it is possible^ in discriminating 
any particular content of the world immanent in my 
consciousness^ to pass from one aspect or particular of 
it to another. If a given aspect of reality., when scrutinized^ 
is found necessarily to lead to another aspect of reality 
due to its connection with it 3 the first of these aspects 
is the logical ground of our cognizing that aspect of 
reality called the consequent. The category of ground 
and consequent is a logical, not an ontological category, 
but as a logical category it is possible only because of the 
ontological connections or ideal moments of the real 

If we understand ground and consequent in judgment 
we have the clue to the theory of inference. The two 
premises of the syllogism are the logical ground of the 
conclusion as a consequent. This novel theory of the 
nature of inference may be so developed that non- 
syllogistic inferences may be incorporated without any 
violence to "the general logical theory. Thus we can 
account for those types of reasoning which had previously 
seemed inexplicable except on the basis of the newer 
symbolic logic. 

It should now be clear that if the concept of imma- 


Value and Existence 

nence, which is one significant phase of Neo-Platonism 5 
is allowed to develop to its logical conclusion it will 
transform the entire concept of consciousness. But this 
change brings psychology and the theory of knowledge 
into a coherent connection with the metaphysics of Neo- 
Platonism. The world becomes more explicitly an organic 
whole in the light of this new theory of consciousness. 

It must be admitted that the first steps in the develop- 
ment of this new theory of consciousness were not made 
explicitly as a transformation of Neo-Platonism. Its 
author was labouring to construct an authentic psychology 
and epistemology. It was only later that he discovered 
how near his theories were to those of Solovyof> who 
had developed epistemology as an internal critique of the 
Neo-Platonic position. It was then that this new theory 
of consciousness became the basis of a Neo-Platonic 

The theory of value developed in this book is meta- 
physical; but it is the concept of consciousness in its 
new role which makes possible a theory of meaning^ and 
this theory of meaning is metaphysical and not psycho- 
logical. It is this theory of meaning which is the clue to 
the whole concept of value. 



Meaning Value as Meaning 


WE have found that consciousness is based on the 
immanence of "all in all" for contemplation. The self 
may turn its gaze upon either the temporal or the eternal. 
That which is gazed upon is the objective side of con- 
sciousness. But the psychic life itself is temporal. Now 
psychic activity is only one side of the creativity of the 
self. It also creates in terms of body, it produces that 
which is space-filling as well as temporal in its nature. 
This, like psychic activity, is also possible because of the 
mutual immanence of subjects through other forms 
besides the one of epistemological coordination. But 
personality as temporal and as spatial is something that 
is not temporal or spatial. The core of personality is that 
which is super-temporal and super-spatial. This core is 
a reality that lies outside of space and outside of time. 
It is metalogical and hence does not fall under the laws 
of logic. It is not subjected to the laws of identity, non- 
contradiction, and the excluded middle. It is a non- 
conceptual reality. It cannot be conceptual because it 
does not fall under the laws of logic. Hence it has no 
essence; and in this respect is like the Absolute Himself. 
The Absolute is beyond the realm of essence. 

This super-essential core of personality is the source 
of personal life as psychic and as physical manifestations. 
It is the will or source of action. It is the creative centre 


Value and Existence 

of personality; that which gives attention and strives. 
Striving;, attention, and feeling are all the creation of this 
self or core of the personal life. The psychic events and 
physical events are real; they are not illusions; but they 
are creations and not the original being or agent. For 
this reason the self is free from its own character; the 
self can renounce its own creations in time,, just because 
it is metalogical. 

Now we can understand the theory of experience, or 
life. The self attends; the self feels; the self acts. But 
that which the self sees, hears, and acts upon is that 
which is beyond its own psychic activities at least in 
such cases where it is not introspecting. In the case of 
introspection it is aware of its own creative activity as a 
mental life in time. But when it is giving attention to 
a tree or a house or even its own body it is aware of 
something that is beyond its own mental life. This leads 
once again to the theory of coordination in knowledge. 
The self attends to something that is beyond its own 
mental life. This something is united with the self in a 
unity that is unique to consciousness. Attention is founded 
on a coordination of selves within the world. In this way 
only is experience possible. Of course this coordination 
is necessary if intelligent action is to be possible. 

The self can also physically act in the world. That is 
due to the fact that the self creates not only mental 
events but also physical events. It creates an impenetrable 
body which is uniquely its own. Of course this body 
which is uniquely mine is not to be confused with that 
large body of head, arms, legs, etc., which is usually 
called mine and is really a body that is due to the creation 


Meaning Value as Meaning 

of many selves. That body is the product of the myriads 
of selves who cooperate to make human life possible. 
This theory is similar to that of Leibniz,, with this 
exception., that these monads have windows. Also these 
monads differ from those of Leibniz in having a core of 
personality which is to be distinguished from the mental 
life in time. 

This theory is not unlike that of Professor James 
Ward as developed in the Psychological Principles and 
Realm of Ends. Ward held that there was a coordination 
between the self and the objects of its experience. He 
called it the duality of subject and object that is the 
necessary form of all experience. But Ward differed from 
this theory in making the objects of experience states of 
the psychoplasm rather than the actual objects of the 
extra-somatic world. Ward thought that the external 
world was mirrored in the psychoplasm of human expe- 
rience. This psychoplasm was really the structure of the 
immediate environment of the human monad within the 

Let us return to the problem of the super-essential 
self which is the core of personality. The casual reader 
finds a reference to the image of God or that unique idea 
of God which forms the essence of the particular person- 
ality and stands in contrast with the empirical nature of 
personality. He might be led to think that the image of 
God is really the essence of the self in so far as it is out 
of time over against the empirical essence as the personal 
life in space and time. This is a false interpretation: both 
the image of God and the empirical character refer to 
the life of personality within the temporal realm. The 

Value and Existence 

true self or core of personality is super-essential. The 
empirical character is the character that I actually do 
create in time. It may be very, very evil or it may be 
more perfect. This cfrvms or empirical character is 
transformed into a deified character when it is lived 
according to the image of God of which the super- 
essential self is the bearer. 

Strange as it may seem, the image of God is that 
which gives the human personality its true identity. 
The image of God is not the empirical character. The 
image of God is the norm of what the given individual 
should be. It is realized in the experience of that person 
who is a member of the Kingdom of Heaven. Because 
the self, as a super-essential being, is connected with a 
normative idea, it has an identity that is all its own. But 
the image of God is not creative; it is the self that is 
creative. The self may reject or it may accept this essence 
as the norm for its activity. But the essence is that which 
makes it unique; it points out the place that the self 
ideally holds in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. 


In one sense the whole of this book has been furnishing 
a new definition of meaning. The particular theory of 
experience here developed is a unique theory of meaning. 
This theory of meaning is essentially bound up with the 
theory of value which it is the aim of the book to 

The first thing that is essential to meaning is the fact 
that the states of one person's mental life may be expe- 
rienced by another person or the physical creation of one 

Meaning Value as Meaning 

person may be experienced by another person. This is 
the mutual immanence of A and B. In other words, B is 
an object of A's experience and is directly experienced 
by him. In such a case B is a meaning for A. We always 
have meaning when an object enriches my experience 
by being present in the field of my attention and exciting 
my interest in it. Not only is a person a meaning for 
another person, but also the physical creations of one 
person have a meaning for him and for others. "We 
have . . . meaning when the pure blue colour of a light 
ray, or an aria sung by Chaliapin, are not indifferent to 
me, because, although they are realized outside of me, 
they are still ideally present also in the composition of 
my life, enriching or impoverishing it" (supra, p- 98). 

But to define meaning in this way is not enough. We 
must make a second implication of the theory clear to 
ourselves. If the self were not coordinated with the 
physical world and with other selves it could not expe- 
rience them. It is related to other beings and hence it 
can experience them. We have found that this experience 
of another is meaning. 

The peculiar form of relation involved is one that 
means that every connected event transcends its own 
limit and becomes through its relation to other events 
consubstantial with them. The term consubstantial means 
"of one substance with." Events transcend themselves in 
a substance that does not destroy their individuality but 
does unite them within a being that is more than the 
mere plurality so united. We shall find that this theory 
of consubstantiality develops into the highest criterion 
and explanation of value itself. 

Value and Existence 

But most important of all is a third implication: 
meaning also involves the existence of events as the 
manifestations and experiences of a subject which creates 
them. Thus not only does B have meaning for A, but 
the manifestations of A have meaning for A himself: 
the subject has meaning for himself in his own mani- 
festations. The reason for meaning being so vitally 
connected with the super-essential substantival agent is 
that the subject is that which creates meaning through 
its own activity. It is the subject which by its activity 
transcends its own being through the forms which it 
bears. These forms are its connections with other agents. 
These connections are the expression of the agent's 
abstract consubstantiality with which it was endowed in 
its very creation. 

We should now see that meaning always has an ideal 
aspect. This is due to the fact that meaning always 
involves relations. These relations are ideal because they 
are the residual of the ideal relations of the Kingdom 
of Heaven. But more than this, a self or substantival 
agent is always involved in meaning. The manifestations 
are always manifestations of an ideal being. It is this 
ideal being that gives them unity and causes them to 
be related to that which is beyond themselves because 
it involves in itself some consubstantiality. 

So there is an ideal aspect always indirectly involved 
in the meaning even of events. Thus, if we are dealing 
with a creation in time and space, such as a song, we 
have the ideal relation involved in the form or essence 
of the song and we have its relation to its creative source, 
the substantival agent. If we treat the event within itself 


Meaning Value as Meaning 

we have an abstraction, but even so, there is always an 
ideal element left, the ideal form of the event and the 
relations by which it transcends itself. But if the self 
as an object of experience has meaning, then we have 
value that is completely ideal; or if we consider an ideal 
essence as having meaning we have a completely ideal 

Due to the strongly cognitive character of modern 
philosophy we are inclined to consider meaning primarily 
as a cognitive matter. Now the theory of meaning that 
has been expounded in this chapter must be carefully 
distinguished from any theory that makes meaning merely 
that which is known. A content considered merely as 
known is not a meaning. It is not the "light ray" or "an 
aria sung by Chaliapin" merely as intuited that are 
meanings for the mind so passively contemplating them. 
No, A is a meaning for B when B is not indifferent to A, 
when A enriches or impoverishes B's life. 

Meaning is a relation that involves more than the 
coordination of knowledge: it involves the relation of 
significance for personality in its larger sphere. For, with 
the theory of consciousness here developed, everything 
known may enter the sphere of the knowing individual's 
life. The whole world ideally forms part of the sphere 
of every subject's life. Not only his own activities, 
physical and mental, are meaning for him, but anything 
that comes into his life may have meaning for him. This 
leads us to a very interesting problem, the problem of 
concrete consubstantiality, or meaning that draws persons 
very close together. 

M 177 

Value and Existence 


The Absolute has an existence that is completely 
independent of the created world. The Absolute has 
neither essence nor value. It is super-essential and 
timeless; It is beyond the realm of value. But like the 
human self which is also super-essential. It has a life. 
This life of the Absolute is the God of religion. The God 
of religion is God manifesting Himself as the Trinity. 

The Trinity is of a threefold nature. Three Beings 
live cooperatively a single life. But the Trinity is not 
the whole of the reality of God. The core of the life of 
God is the super-essential Absolute which creatively 
manifests Itself in the life of the Trinity. Just as the 
super-essential core of human personality creatively works 
through the mental life, so the Absolute creatively works 
through Its life which is the Trinity. 

Even so the Divine Life is not the same as human 
personality. It has a concreteness unknown to human 
personality. It is a union of three in one and so is 
analogous rather to the Kingdom of Heaven than to the 
life of the single human personality. Each member of 
the Trinity is an individuality which, united with the 
other two, creates the concreteness of the life of the 
Godhead. This concrete life of the Trinity is the life of 
complete value. It involves ideal relationship in perfect 
cooperation and harmony. Each member of the Trinity 
has an absolute value as one aspect of the whole of the 
life of God. 

Value in its creative and original form is the life of 
the Trinity. The human individual has value because he 


Meaning Value as Meaning 

can in some sense cooperate with the life of the Trinity. 
The Kingdom of Heaven may be considered the body 
of the Trinity Itself. Because it was created there is a 
distinction between it and the Trinity; but as a creation 
it is the body of the Trinity. The Kingdom of Heaven 
in one sense is the expression of the Trinity, and as the 
Body of Christ, the Logos, it is the body of the Father 
and the Holy Spirit besides. 

Using this as a clue, we can see that value lies primarily 
in the Trinitarian life of God; but secondarily in the 
Kingdom of Heaven as the Body of the Trinity, for the 
Church Triumphant, or the Kingdom of Heaven, is Its 
Body. The Kingdom of Heaven is therefore distinct in 
structure from the inner life of the Trinity Itself. The 
Kingdom is a complex organization of many agents 
forming and creating a common life in space and time. 
The common life of the Trinity is above space, and 
above time. It is only the Body of the Trinity that is 
spatial and that is temporal. However, since the Kingdom 
of Heaven is the Body of the Trinity, the principle of 
unity within the Godhead is the principle of unity within 
the Kingdom of Heaven. 

The principle of unity in the Godhead is a very old 
one in Christian thought. It is termed the perichoresis 
or circumincession. Each member of the Trinity has a 
distinct individuality; but due to their union through 
the Absolute they cooperate in such a way as to live one 
undivided life, a life of concrete fulness and joy. The 
principle of perichoresis is that of individuals united 
together in a larger life that is more than individual. The 
Trinity is a super-individual unity. God is not a person, 


Value and Existence 

but He is the union of persons in one super-personal 
life. The Absolute is beyond the distinction of number; 
It is that which makes possible the concrete life of the 
Trinity as a unity of three in one. So we find within 
the dogma of the Trinity a principle of union in which 
individuality through a cooperative life becomes some- 
thing that is super-personal. 

It is usually not recognized that the theory that God 
is a person is relatively novel in Christian thought. Even 
the Protestant reformers did not assert it. It is probably 
the product of Deism and really the denial of the Christian 
doctrine of the Trinity. For traditional creedal theology 
God is a unity of three personalities or, if you will, three 

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity. 

The Kingdom of God is a unity that is analogous to 
that of the Trinity within the Godhead. The principle 
of perlchoresis explains the unity of all the myriad 
personalities of the created world within the Kingdom 
of Heaven. This even brings the terminology of the 
Nicene Creed into logic and metaphysics. Thus we may 
name the unity of individuals even within this realm of 
imperfect life by a term that is really derived from the 
Nicene Creed. The term is consubstantiality. It is to be 
remembered that the doctrine of the Incarnation was 
defined by the Nicene Creed by asserting that the 
second member of the Trinity was consubstantial or of 
one substance with the Father. The theory that was 
rejected at Nicea was that of Arius, the theory that the 
second member of the Trinity is like the Father in 


Meaning Value as Meaning 

substance rather than consubstantlal or of the same 
substance as the Father. Thus we see that according to 
the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity the three Persons 
unite to make one substance. The substance of the 
Godhead is not three, but rather one; yet it is the union 
of three hypostases. 

If we apply the principle of consubstantiality to the 
Kingdom of Heaven we have one substance within the 
whole of the Kingdom. But all the selves that make up 
that Kingdom are united as individuals into that one 
consubstantial life. 

But this is not the whole of the theory of consub- 
stantiality. AH the selves of the entire universe were 
endowed in their very creation with a bond that united 
them to all other selves. Epistemological coordination, 
space, time, number, etc., were a part of their endow- 
ment as created beings. This endowment cannot be 
destroyed, although its sphere of application may be 
narrowed. This is a part of the unity of the Kingdom 
of Heaven, since it makes possible the cooperation with 
God and with other selves which is the very essence of 
the close-knit unity of the Kingdom. But this one aspect 
of the Kingdom is possessed by all selves. Hence we 
may say that there is a slender connection that connects 
every self of the whole universe with the Kingdom of 

At their creation the selves were all endowed with 
creative power, with abstract consubstantiality, and with 
"the image of God," but they were not determined in 
their choice of creative life, or the sphere of meaning 
which they would make their own. Some selves chose 


Value and Existence 

God as the meaning of their life. Love for him and for 
each other was the end of living., the true Meaning of 
life. They became the members of the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Others chose themselves or some narrow sphere 
of life as the meaning of existence, and they made up 
our world, the world of evil, sin, and sorrow. 

Abstract consubstantiality is necessary for all existence. 
It is the original endowment of the creature. But concrete 
consubstantiality is quite different. It involves a relation- 
ship of cooperation where one purpose and one all- 
inclusive meaning brings all persons into one common 
life. God as the Supreme Meaning of life is our next 


To understand concrete consubstantiality we must 
appreciate the whole conception of body in relation to 
our problem. 

A body and I am using the term in the sense of an 
animal or a vegetable organism is a unity in a plurality. 
If we conceive of it as the product of many substantival 
agents producing it as their joint action we realize that 
such an organism has a concreteness unknown to an 
electron or a molecule. Now this unity is due not alone 
to space, time, causality, etc., but also to the fact that 
the activities of all the agents that make up the body 
are united by one dominant purpose. We are using the 
conception of Leibniz with the change of making the 
monads equipped with open doors. The purpose of the 
organism as a whole, its unity as a body, is due to 
the directive purpose of the dominant monad. 


Meaning Value as Meaning 

Now, the meaning of the organization as a whole is 
to be found in the dominant monad in so far as it gives 
meaning to the life of every other monad in the whole 
body. Its life is the meaning for every monad in the 
body because the life of the organism as a whole is the 
larger life of every unit in it. Every monad exists for the 
whole, and the purpose of the whole is the concrete 
meaning of life for all the members of that body. 

Now we are in a position to understand the conception 
of the Kingdom of Heaven as the body of the Trinity, 
and its bearing on the problem of concrete consubstan- 
tiality. God is the supreme meaning for the Kingdom 
of Heaven because He is the head of that body, while 
the selves of the Kingdom of Heaven are its members. 
The life of God is the directive life of the Kingdom of 
Heaven; the eternal purpose of the Trinitarian life of 
God is that which gives purpose to the Kingdom of 
Heaven. It is a completely self-justified meaning because 
It produces perfect unanimity and love, and is in Itself 
a concrete interplay of unanimity and love. Thus, the 
concrete life of love within the Trinity is self-justified, 
but It receives a secondary confirmation in the love that 
It awakens within Its body, which is the Kingdom of 

NoWj we may say that God is the absolute intrinsic 
primordial value because He gives meaning to that 
perfect consubstantiality of the Kingdom of Heaven. 
And nothing else can or does give such concreteness to 
the Kingdom of Heaven. We may say also that all our 
values are positive in just so far as they move towards 
a completeness of consubstantiality. Then clearly, values 

Value and Existence 

are positive in just so far as they bring individuals closer 
and closer to the Kingdom of Heaven. And to bring the 
meaning of life closer to the Kingdom of Heaven means 
to bring life more and more under the dominance of 
the purpose of God. The world will become good and 
beautiful and true when God is "all in all" for the life 
of every creature. The Divine life is the life of love, a 
love of the members for each other within the Godhead., 
and love for all created beings. Thus, when God becomes 
the supreme meaning for a being, that means that every 
other creature has a meaning as an object of the Divine 
Love. So the fulness of life for every creature is a life 
of complete and active love for God and for all other 



) Beauty ', and Goodness 


Positive value is meaning in relation to the Absolute 
Meaning; it is measured by the Absolute Fulness of 
Meaning and is a participation in the All-Embracing 
Meaning Itself. In its concreteness value becomes satis- 
factory only as meaning becomes more and more a 
participation of the related content in the life of God 

Thus any positive meaning is only possible because in 
experience there is a Ground of all meaning,, the meaning 
of the subject and of all its objects., and because this 
Ground is the measure of the fulness of the meaning of 
any value-experience. 

This helps us to understand the concept of value from 
the side of experience. The self can never make judg- 
ments of value until it has experienced value as an 
aspect of its life. Due to the immanence of "all in all," 
everything in the world complements the sphere of the 
life of each being. In the wider sense., my fuller life 
includes everything with which I come into contact. 
Everything comes into the sphere of my life as a factor 
of it. And as we have already seen, God Himself is the 
true meaning of my larger life. However, that does not 
mean that everything enters the sphere of my own 
creations, the sphere of my inner life. But owing to the 
fact that everything enters the sphere of my life and is 


Value and Existence 

experienced as worthy or unworthy in terms of God as 
the All-Embracing Meaning of all being, God is the 
primary experience of value. Positive Meaning exists 
where objects and events are experienced as worthy or 
unworthy in terms of the Ultimate Meaning. All of this 
is a part of the sphere of my life because my fuller life 
includes God as its ultimate meaning and all agents as 
potential members of the Kingdom of Heaven as a part 
of its completed nature. 

Final Meaning is the experience of God as the Fulness 
of Meaning and everything else in relation to that Final 
Meaning. Hence everything that enriches that fuller life 
of ours, the whole of the created world, is a positive 
value, and everything that mars it is a negative value. 
But I can only realize it as a value in so far as it becomes 
concretely experienced as a part of my larger life. This 
does not mean that the evils in this larger Hfe of mine 
are my intentions, my inner creations. But it does mean 
that I am in relation to the whole world as if it were 
my body. In fact, in a larger way it is my body. I some- 
times experience the sickness of my body as my sickness 
in the larger sense, and yet it is experienced as something 
which was not due to me and was not my wish or desire. 
When my body is sick I experience the pain as in a 
larger sense my pain. However, the disease and pain may 
not be due to my failure. Yet the sickness is meaningful 
because it has a relation to my life. In the same way 
everything in the universe has value for me as I experience 
it in relation to its marring or improving aspects of my 
wider life, the life lived in the Fulness of the Divine 
Meaning. Although nothing is experienced as value unless 


Truth) Beauty^ and Goodness 

it bears a relationship to my life, yet this is not indi- 
vidualism in axiology because my life only has positive 
meaning through its relationship to Ultimate Meaning. 

This concept has been expressed most magnificently 
by F. D. Maurice in his description of Our Lord's 
relationship to the man "possessed by an unclean spirit." 
The expression is somewhat theological, but the thought 
is quite valid. 

"There was a time in our Lord's life on earth, we are 
told, when a man met Him., coming out of the tombs, 
exceeding fierce., whom no man could bind., no, not with 
chains. That man was possessed by an unclean spirit. Of 
all men upon earth., you would say that he was the one 
between whom and the pure and holy Jesus there must 
have existed the most intense repugnance. What Pharisee., 
who shrank from the filthy and loathsome words of that 
maniac, could have experienced one-thousandth part of 
the inward and intense loathing which Christ must have 
experienced for the mind that those words expressed? 
For it was into that He looked; that which He under- 
stood; that which in His inmost being He must have 
felt, which must have given Him a shock such as it could 
have given to no other. I repeat the words; I beseech 
you to consider them; He must have felt the wickedness 
of that man in His inmost being. He must have been 
conscious of it, as no one else was or could be. Now, if 
we ever have had the consciousness, in a very slight 
degree, of evil in another man, has it not been, up to 
that degree, as if the evil were in ourselves? Suppose the 
offender was a friend, or a brother, or a child, has not 
this sense of personal shame, of the evil being ours, been 


Value and Existence 

proportionably stronger and more acute? However much 
we might feel ourselves called upon to act as judges, this 
perception still remained. It was not crushed even by 
the anger, the selfish anger, and impatience of an injury 
done to us, which, most probably, mingled with and 
corrupted the purer indignation and sorrow. Most of us 
confess with humiliation how little we have had of this 
lively consciousness of other men's impurity, or injustice, 
or falsehood, or baseness. But we do confess it; we know, 
therefore, that we should be better if we had more of it. 
In our best moments we admire with a fervent admira- 
tion in our worse, we envy with a wicked envy those 
in whom we trace most of it. And we have had just 
enough of it to be certain that it belongs to the truest 
and most radical part of the character, not to its transient 
impulses. Suppose, then, this carried up to Its highest 
point: cannot you, at a great distance, apprehend that 
Christ may have entered into the sin of the maniac's 
spirit, may have had the most inward realization of it, 
not because it was like what was in Himself, but because 
it was utterly and intensely unlike? And yet are you not 
sure that this could not have been, unless He had the 
most perfect and thorough sympathy with this man, 
whose nature was transformed into the likeness of a 
brute, whose spirit had acquired the image of a devil? 
Does the coexistence of this sympathy and this antipathy 
perplex you? Oh! ask yourselves which you could bear 
to be away; which you could bear to be weaker than the 
other! Ask yourselves whether they must not dwell 
together in their highest degree, in their fullest power, 
in any one of whom you could say, c He is perfect; he is 

Truth} Beauty > and Goodness 

the standard of excellence; in him there is the full image 
of God. 5 Diminish by one atom the loathing and horror, 
or the fellowship and sympathy, and by that atom you 
lower the character; you are sure that you have brought 
it nearer to the level of your own low imaginations; that 
you have made it less like the Being who would raise 
you towards Himself." 1 

We experience God as complete meaning. He gives 
meaning to everything else in so far as those other 
things participate in Him. Everything that has interest 
for me actually belongs to the sphere of my life. And 
as Maurice's passage shows, everything should enter into 
the sphere of my life as belonging to the wider area of 
myself. It is in this way that the experience of value is 
possible, and, indirectly, it is the way in which the 
judgment of value becomes possible. 

We can best understand the judgment of value and 
even gain a larger knowledge of the nature of value itself 
if we examine the problem of truth. 


If we are to understand truth as a value, a meaning 
that has significance, we can best make it clear to our- 
selves by understanding theoretical truth, and then con- 
trasting the two types. 

As we have already seen, objects of which we are 
aware, whether they be physical objects, ideal forms, or 
spiritual beings, are immanent in the consciousness of 
the subject aware of them, although except in the case 

1 Lincoln's Inn Sermons* Sermon XII, on "Christ made Sin for 
Us," pp. 185 ff. 

Value and Existence 

of self-consciousness they are not created by the aware- 
ness of the subject. They exist as realities that are not 
dependent on my psychic processes for their being, and 
are known as having a reality apart from my conscious- 
ness. Thus consciousness contains material objects, ideal 
forms, and spiritual beings, although none of them are 
a part of the subject's psychic life. 

The knowing process is psychic, but the objects known 
need not be psychic at all. If I am aware of a passing 
train, that train is immanent in my consciousness, but 
is not a creation of my mental activity. The train has an 
existence quite apart from my mind, but in the relation 
called knowledge it is immanent in my consciousness. 
In knowledge the object is connected with a knowing 
subject by an ideal relation which makes them mutually 
immanent in each other. Thus knowledge involves the 
subject, the object, and the relation between them. An 
object is not an aspect of knowledge, unless it is known. 
If truly known, it is known as it is; but as known it is 
immanent in the consciousness of the knowing subject. 
It would be false to say that the object known is in any 
way created by the knowing subject's mental processes; 
but as known it is always immanent in a subject's con- 
sciousness and forms the objective side or content of 
that consciousness. 

This special relationship which we find in knowledge 
makes knowledge possible. It is a relation where all is 
immanent in all for contemplation; and we would enjoy 
such complete contemplation except for the imperfec- 
tions of our bodies which keep us from enjoying it. This 
theoretical immanence of "all in all," this possibility of 

Truth) Beauty > and Goodness 

universal awareness, is an ideal relation, a connection of 
the immanence of "all in all" that makes intuition 
possible. Along with space, time, and number, it belongs 
to the abstract consubstantiality of every subject with 
every other subject in the world. 

We now see that an object as known is an object 
related to a subject by a special relation; but this con- 
nection alone does not give the subject knowledge. There 
is no knowledge until the knowing subject correctly 
discriminates the characteristics of the object of which 
it is aware. 

Truth is found in the knowledge situation in which 
the object is seen as it is. Truth is the object known as 
it is. However, truth is not the object as it is, but the 
object known as it is. So truth involves the relation of 
an ideal coordination; it is the object in a very special 
type of relation, the relation of explicit knowledge. 
Without the subject there would be no truth, and yet 
the subject does not constitute the truth. Truth is the 
object made explicit in its full nature; but it is the object 
made explicit to the gaze of a subject. But truth as theory 
need not be more than the object made explicit in its 
full nature to the contemplation of the knowing subject. 
Theoretical truth considers the object solely in its own 

So much for truth, considered in its logical and 
epistemological aspect. Now truth as value likewise is 
not subjective, but it is experience in a sense that truth 
as theory is not. The nature of theoretical truth is the 
object in its original being made explicit to the contem- 
plation of a subject. But the nature of truth as value is 

Value and Existence 

the real as meaning, in opposition to that which is 
shadowy and unsubstantial, the real as opposed to the 
unrealities of life. The Truth is that which gives life 
meaning as eternally real and abiding in opposition to 
that which perishes in the using; it is the real in contrast 
to that which promises a reality which it does not have. 
God is the Truth because He is the Fully Real, and the 
meaning of the completeness of reality lies in Him. 

Truth as value like theoretical truth involves the 
relation of subject and object; but it is not that slender 
relationship where the object is merely perceived as it is. 
Rather it is the meaning of the fuller life itself as that 
which is substantial and real rather than something 
dreamlike and unreal. Truth is the concrete, the sub- 
stantial, as the richness of life. It is God who is the 
Completely Real, just because He is real in the highest 
degree of consubstantial life. He is the substantial value, 
the Truth, for all other beings, since there is Truth for 
them when they are united through Him in "one body 
and one Spirit." 


God is goodness in so far as the cooperative life of the 
Trinity is the end of all action of created beings. That 
mutual participation of life within the Trinity is good- 
ness. And as a complete outpouring of love it becomes 
the love which is the meaning, the true positive meaning 
of life for every creature. Now of course God must be 
related to the creature to be a value for that creature, 
but it is not the creature who gives value to God but 
God who gives value to the creature. God would not be 

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness 

title supreme value for the creature if there were no 
relation to the creature,, just as an object could not be 
truth unless it is made explicit in the consciousness of 
the subject. But the psychic activity of the subject does 
not constitute theoretic truth. Theoretic truth is literally 
the nature of the object made explicit in the conscious- 
ness of the subject. So there is no value apart from 
subjects., but the value is not of the nature of a con- 
tribution that the subject makes to the object, when the 
object is adjudged to be valuable, but the contribution 
that the object makes to the fuller life of the subject. 
So, God awakens my love but He is not the supreme 
value due to my love. My love is awakened because He 
is the supreme end of my life. I do not make Him 
valuable, but He makes my life valuable because of His 
worth. Hence God as the Good is the end of my life, 
as a cooperative life of love which gives me value in so 
far as I participate in it. And I participate in it in so far 
as I share its love for all created things. 


Beauty, like goodness, and like truth as a value, is the 
completion of life, and in its fulness is to be found only 
in God. Beauty is perfect expression. Of course, perfect 
beauty would be goodness and truth perfectly expressed, 
as revealed in God and as mediated in the complete life 
of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a wholly self-justified 
value. Hence it cannot be found completely revealed 
within our world, full as it is of evil and opposition. 
Beauty can only find a faint echo within our world. 

Our material creations are necessarily imperfect in 

N 193 

Value and Existence 

character. Matter as impenetrable and resisting cannot 
be good. That does not mean that all space-time life is 
evil. The life of the Kingdom of Heaven has a higher 
type of space than is known within our system of time 
and space. The space-time creations of the Kingdom of 
God are perfect because they have no shadow of evil in 
their composition. The material of their composition is 
the perfect life of love and truth. 

But in our life here and now, within the sphere of sin 
and death., we can only create that which is partially 
beautiful. The best that we can do is to try to express, 
to give some hint of, the beauty that is to be found in 
the life of the Kingdom of Heaven. That is the reason 
that our beauty is always of the nature of a symbol. 

"I saw no mortal beauty with these eyes/ 9 is the motto 
of Michelangelo when he attempts to mould the imperfect 
materials of this world in such a way as to make them 
shine with the light that he has seen glow with perfect 
brilliance in the world of eternal beauty. 

The mountains perish, the hills pass away, the green 
grass withers, the flowers fade, the beauty of man is 
turned into the ugliness of death: aU the creations of 
man or of nature perish. They are but passing symbols 
of a beauty that never fades, of a glory that never dies. 
There is a light never seen on land or sea, the brilliance 
and the radiance of which inspires the man who would 
cause the temporal forms of this world even faintly to 
reflect the radiance of a world that knows no dimness 
and no tarnish. Hence we express in a transient form, in 
mere symbols, that which is eternally beautiful. 

The world of nature contains much beauty: there is 


Truth} Beauty., and Goodness 

the beauty of Inanimate nature and the beauty of animate 
nature. Even animals that are very cruel exhibit a great 
deal of beauty. The question that naturally arises is why 
so much beauty exists in animals and humans that seem 
to have a character that is far from being in accord with 
goodness. The answer to our question lies in the fact 
that the beauty of our world is for the most part only a 
matter of the surface: it does not penetrate deeply 
enough into the structure of life to transform the inner 
nature of the object that exhibits it. The cruelty of 
nature has not been transformed by beauty: the beauty 
is very superficial and does not touch the core of life. 

Perfect beauty Is completely expressed Absolute Good- 
ness and Truth. Hence the beauty of nature, which is 
merely an expression of matter that has not yet become 
good. Is merely an expression of a very slight amount of 
the good. The task of the artist Is the transfiguration of 
matter so that it reveals to us the nature of the possible 
change that It may undergo in being made completely 
beautiful. The artist shows us what can be done with 
the material world. He indicates that it may be trans- 
figured into the radiance of true beauty. But he does not 
completely transform: he merely touches the surface of 
matter. He gives us a clue as to the possible transfigura- 
tion of the world. 

In so doing he indicates that the beauty which he 
creates, the beauty that only transforms the surface of 
matter, is a suggestion of that beauty which is the com- 
plete transfiguration of the creation of life. Space and 
time in their highest forms may express the true beauty 
which is the Life of God and the Life of the Kingdom 


Value and Existence 

of Heaven. Our artistic creations and the beautiful objects 
of nature are both alike: they are a transfiguration of 
matter so that it reflects the realm of Eternal Goodness 
and Truth. They are "broken lights" that suggest to us 
the Eternal Light. 

The beauty of nature^ even when it is a beauty that 
is expressed on the surface of a life that is evil., gives us 
a hint of what can be done with life; but it does not 
commit us to the position that that which has superficial 
beauty is good in its "inward parts." Thus beauty and 
goodness are inseparably bound together., but every 
object that has superficial beauty is not of necessity good. 
It is only when beauty completely transfigures a life that 
it can be called completely good; and it is only when a 
life is completely good that its expression is complete 
beauty. Such beauty and such goodness exist only in the 
Kingdom of Heaven. 



Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

IN recent centuries values have almost always been 
considered relative, but the physical world absolute. 
To be sure, this relativity of value was largely a matter 
of human morals; but even so, it is surprising how wide- 
spread an implicit Utilitarianism has been in the thought 
of modern philosophy. Even Henry More, the Cambridge 
Platonist, was one of those philosophers who explicitly 
developed Utilitarianism. Yet it was a Henry More and 
others of his type of thought who believed in the absolute 
attributes of the ineffable God. It was in the realm of 
these absolutes where his true values lay. It was not 
clear to him that his theology should have a definite 
connection with his theory of morals. It was the relativism 
of Aristotle's Ethics that seemed to him a solution for 
the barren and arbitrary conceptions of Calvinism. 
Utilitarianism was an escape from an arbitrary absolutism 
in the field of morals. 

Deism is a natural heritage of the Western world. It is 
a natural development of one phase of a very ancient 
theory of value. Deism, we are usually told, is a natural 
theology that grew out of the scientific development of 
modern physics. It was the attempt of the thoughtful 
mind of the eighteenth century to conceive God and His 
relation to the world in terms that were consistent with 
the developing insights of physics. What was it in Deism, 
based as it was on an abstract science, that gave it its 

Value and Existence 

sense of satisfaction with the world? It was a highly 
developed, though implicit, conception of the absolute. 
It was an implicit conception of value. God was all- wise, 
all-good, and all-powerful; man and the physical world, 
as His creations, were also basically and fundamentally 
good and beautiful; the world also had an absolute 

This conception of the final adequacy of physical 
existence is one of the most striking conceptions of 
Western thought. It has become a folk heritage of the 
Western world, and goes back in its origin through 
Augustine to an ancient Semitic belief. Augustine tells 
us in his Confessions that before he was a Christian he 
believed that the disgusting objects of the physical world, 
such as vipers and reptiles, were things of evil. After he 
became a Christian he realized, so he tells us, that all of 
these were the creation of a good God and were in them- 
selves good and altogether perfect. 

"And to Thee is nothing whatsoever evil: yea, not 
only to Thee, but also to Thy creation as a whole, because 
there Is nothing without, which may break in, and 
corrupt that order which Thou hast appointed it. . . " 

"And I perceived and found it nothing strange, that 
bread which is pleasant to a healthy palate is loathsome 
to one distempered; and to sore eyes light is offensive, 
which to the sound is delightful. And thy righteousness 
displeaseth the wicked; much more the viper and reptiles, 
which Thou hast created good, fitting in with the inferior 
portions of Thy Creation, with which the very wicked 
also fit in; and that the more, by how much they be 
unlike Thee; but with the superior creatures, by how 


Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

much they become more like to Thee. And I inquired 
what iniquity was, and found it to be no substance, but 
the perversion of the will, turned aside from Thee, O 
God, the Supreme, towards these lower things, and 
casting out its bowels, and puffed up outwardly." 1 

The Deist inherited this view; he was convinced that 
the world in which he lived was in a general way perfect. 
Read the pages of Voltaire and you find him telling us 
that the Lisbon earthquake was not cruel or diabolical 
but as it should have been. 2 It is the duty of man to learn 
the nature of this benevolent and kindly aspect of nature. 
The interesting thing about this view is not only its 
optimism, but its failure to understand the very highly 
problematic character of human life in both its individual 
and its social aspects. Deism is based on physics and is 
only to a moderate degree concerned with specifically 
human problems. But its optimism is of the same sort 
as that which is characterized in the general trend of 
Western thought. 

We thus see that for the thought of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries the physical world had an abso- 
lute character. The general background for the thoughtful 
man was the type of absolutism that grew out of physics. 
Even the nineteenth century struggled in vain to escape 
from this basic form of absolutism that really grew out 
of mathematics. Phenomenalism as developed out of 
Kant by Comte also had within it the absolutes of the 
Newtonian physics. 3 Most of the conceptions of the 

1 Augustine^ Confessions,, bk. vii 3 chap, xiii, chap. xvi. 

2 Brightman, "Lisbon Earthquake: a Study in Religious Valua- 
tion," American Journal of Theology > October 1919. 

3 Kant, Metaphysische Anfangsgrunde der Naturwissenschaft. 


Value and Existence 

absolute that we find in the nineteenth century, with the 
possible exception of those of Fichte and Schopenhauer., 
assume what is assumed by Deism, that the natural order 
is ultimately good. They are all fundamentally the type 
of absolutism that really makes the forms of the natural 
world in some real sense final Thus it was that the God 
of Deism Is relatively unimportant, and in the case of 
Spinoza and Hegel there is no God apart from the 

It should now be clear that the absolute developed by 
modern thought tends to be the absolute of the world 
order as it now is. The most convincing form of this 
absolute appeared in the Newtonian system. There we 
encounter the absolutes of absolute space, absolute time, 
and absolute motion. The absolute of space was the same 
absolute as Henry More, the theologian and philosopher, 
admired. 1 It is not alone the common-sense realist and 
the traditional physicist who defend the Newtonian 
position; it is also those who in some sense believe that 
the physical order is absolute. The Newtonian physics 
practically makes the laws of Euclid's geometry into 
laws of physics. To be sure, there is a relativity as far 
as observation is concerned; but the world, as it is, is 
contained within the frames of two absolutes and in a 
real sense, due to them, is absolute itself. You remember 
that Newton took over much from Galileo, and it would 
seem that Galileo was a man who was not speculative in 
tendency. Newton himself thought that it was obvious 
that we must ultimately deal with absolute space 3 absolute 
time, and absolute motion. It was Newton who said: 

1 Mackinnon, Philosophical Writings of Henry More, p. 294. 

Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

"Hypotheses non fingo." 1 The absolute character of 
space, time, and motion seems self-evident to these 

Most philosophers do not realize how much the new 
theory of relativity has really changed the outlook for 
most systems of modem thought. I suppose it is true 
that the follower of Berkeley is fairly safe as far as the 
criticism and the change of perspective that emanate 
from the new theory of relativity. But the follower of 
Berkeley is really a nominalist as far as scientific law is 
concerned and cannot in any case be a genuine believer 
in absolute time and in absolute space. This is clear from 
Berkeley's mathematical writings and Principles. But for 
those who accept the physical world as in some sense 
trans-subjective and non-mental the physical world is 
deprived of its absolute character by the new theory. 
It means that existence in so far as it is physical is relative 
and not absolute. There are many theorists who even 
consider that every existent is relative., that is, is con- 
stituted by the relations in which it stands to other 

If the theory of relativity is true, and evidence is 
accumulating very rapidly to confirm it, then we no 
longer have even absolute time. Of course it is true we 
have general laws of nature that are valid; but these laws 
are formulated with the explicit assumption that all 
points of reference are equivalent for the formulation of 
the general laws of nature. But that does not mean, for 
example, that the time-interval will have the same 

1 Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, section at the end 
of the volume. 


Value and Existence 

magnitude for different systems of measurement. Rather 
it will be different; but the general laws ascertained by 
observation will be the same. Thus, for example, the same 
event may have a different time-duration for various 
observers. Each one of these time-intervals is valid. The 
general laws are valid for all points of reference, but that 
does not mean that the time and the space will be the 
same for each observer of the same event. Thus a special 
time must be assigned to each inertial system. 

It is hard for us to realize that this theory means that 
every physical existent is relative. If we take space, time, 
motion, velocity, and mass as the formal constituents of 
physical existence, then in dealing with any object we 
must assert from what standpoint the existent reveals 
such and such characteristics. No absolute attribute can 
be ascribed to it in terms of space, time, motion, mass, 
velocity or any other characteristic used by theoretical 
physics. A physical existent is a many-faced object 
relative in its physical characteristics. In place of the 
Newtonian physical system with its absolute charac- 
teristics of space, time, and motion we have bodies that 
have become more independent of each other than in 
the Newtonian system because they are no longer parts 
of an absolute system; 1 yet they are relative in terms of 
the relations to each other. 

Is value also a variable? To the modern mind, parti- 
cularly to the mind of Western Europe, it seems self- 
evident that it must be. Formerly we always tended to 
make value, at least ethical value, more relative than 

1 Russell, "Relativity: Philosophical Consequences," Ency. Brit* 
(i3th ed.)j xxxi, pp. 331 if. 


Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

physical existence. The great mass of thinkers have made 
values subjective. Merely look over the list of modern 
thinkers and you will be surprised to find how many of 
them make values dependent upon feeling, or the bodily 
statej or human interest^ or individual development. 
Pragmatism joins hands with realism and idealism in 
making values relative. One of Miss Calkins' last articles 
was one in which she made values subjective, 1 and she 
an Absolute Idealist! One wonders in reading her and 
even Professor Pringle-Patterson if they did not have 
two value theories : one a theory of human values, the 
other a theory of absolute values. 2 This higher kind of 
value seems to be merely existence taken in its totality. 
Bradley and Bosanquet undoubtably equate existence 
and value. This dualism between absolute values and 
relative human values we found implicit in Henry More's 

Max Scheler and Nicolai Hartmarm give us a new 
type of absolute. They give us values that are qualities, 
material qualities that may be added to existents. These 
qualities are borne by existences. In a sense values exist 
in their purity only in a very unreal sense. It would be 
better to say that pure value subsists rather than exists. 
An existent per se is not valuable, it only bares values. 
Pure value may have reality apart from existence. We 
see that this conception is very close to the theory of 
tertiary qualities espoused by some of the English and 
American realists. The difficulty with this theory lies in 

1 "Value Primarily a Psychological Conception/' Journal of 
Philosophical Studies^ October 1928. 

2 Temple, "Some Implications of Theism/' Contemporary British 
Philosophy 3 i 3 pp. 4i4ff. 


Value and Existence 

the fact that it deprives existence itself of intrinsic worth. 
If we are dealing with a beautiful object we ask our- 
ourselves, and I think legitimately., if the picture itself 
is not beautiful apart from the adding of a quality called 
beauty. If we take the position that a tertiary quality 
is the only value we must ask ourselves whether there is 
not a value that lies in the bearer of the quality in addi- 
tion to the quality borne. This point was made clear above 
in Part One. 

It seems to be a fundamental insight regarding value 
that all objects and all persons do not have positive value. 
The attempts that have been made to give positive value 
to all that exists have been the most prolific soil in which 
relativistic theories of value have grown. Pragmatism, 
Utilitarianism, and all forms of value-relativism have 
been quite right in pointing out that some objects are 
incapable of being considered positively valuable, even 
sub specie aeternitatis. It seems to some of us that they 
look worse, the better the perspective. All that glitters 
is not gold; there are negative values, as humanity has 
gradually learned to its sorrow. 

If there are negative values then there must be a point 
of reference, and if it is absolute, it must be valid for all. 
The position we are taking in this book is one that con- 
siders physical reality as trans-subjective and non-mental 
in its reality. Now since human life is bound up with 
physical existence, our value-problem is closely con- 
nected with the problem of the physical world. We are 
faced with the straggle for existence, with physical injury, 
and with the competitive problem due to the limited 
amount of physical goods. These factors are acute in the 


Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

value-problem for they seem, to force relativism upon us. 

I suggest that the relativity of physical existence stands 
in sharp contrast to absolute value. If we accept this 
thesis it cuts the ground from under all conceptions 
based on the assumption that if there are absolute values 
they must be found in physical being or human life as 
we know them, conditioned as they are by the very 
relativity of all physical nature. The terrible havoc 
wrought in our traditional English and American theology 
and philosophy by the new discoveries of biological 
science is to be explained by the fact that such thought 
as that of the Bridgewater Treatises considered physical 
nature and the body of man to be perfect. But Helmholtz, 
who was no atheist, tells us that the eye is a very imperfect 
optical instrument and we are all well aware of the loss 
and tragedy that exist in the whole realm of the struggle 
for existence. It would take a very calloused mind to sing 
the Te Deum while watching a hawk slay a dove, a cat 
tease a mouse, or the rage-filled armies of the last war 
destroying themselves and modern civilization. The 
world in which we live is not a world of absolute values. 
Even when we do good we find that it is relative owing 
to the fact that the good that we do is infected with evil. 

This relativity of human morality due to the relativity 
of physical nature should be made clearer. Possibly we 
can do so by using several concrete examples. Suppose a 
reformer is faced with the evils of the slave trade,, or, 
better, the evils of slavery itself. He works to have the 
slave freed and concentrates his mind upon the good he 
is doing; but it is inevitable that in creating a public 
sentiment to have the slaves freed he creates hatred and 


Value and Existence 

the destruction of certain human values. I think it is 
now quite generally agreed that the British West Indies 
suffered enormously, both culturally and economically., 
when slavery was abolished. I use this illustration because 
it involves abolition of slavery without the use of war 
and therefore it does not involve so drastic a change. But 
if we take into consideration that many reforms are 
carried out by the use of extensive force, then we realize 
that whenever we do good we are faced with the creation 
of evil as well. 

Suppose a man finds that to do justice to the young 
lady to whom he is engaged and to his own life he must 
break the ties that bind him to his own home. We say 
he is justified, but very often evil is wrought by his act: 
he does harm to his parents. Or suppose a man has many 
obligations. If he does one thing he is prevented at the 
same time from doing something else that should be done. 
By the very condition of space and time values are made 
relative. Thus a theory of value that is sound must recog- 
nize the truth of our present-day stress on relativism. 

The tragedy of our day is that Utilitarianism joined 
with Hegelianism has developed a new kind of abso- 
lutism. We find it in Bolshevism and Fascism. Our new 
social absolutism is attempting to escape the relativity of 
human life by a false Value-Absolute. In the case of 
Bolshevism this is particularly pathetic. As it holds the 
human mind to be merely a mirror of the material world, 
then it must hold that the material world is absolute. 
That is the reason it has no sympathy with any form of 
relativity in the field of physics. It seems to be closing 
its eyes to a very obvious truth. 


Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

We now see that our lives, lives conditioned by those 
forms of space and time exhibited in this world, are 
relative. Human life only exhibits relative value. We do 
not find, and we cannot find, our Value-Absolute within 
the earthly sphere. I believe that Newton following 
Henry More had a sound instinct. He thought that in 
some way God gave us the true Value-Absolute. But I 
do think he was wrong in conceiving our space and time 
as the absolute attributes of the Divine; for our world 
is more chaotic than he thought it to be. It seems to me 
that we must seek our absolute beyond this world. It 
must be concrete existence, something much more than 
a mere quality or an abstract form. The argument against 
the abstract concept of absolute value we have already 
developed in connection with the theory of Scheler and 
of the followers of Realism. 

The thesis we are developing is that value as absolute 
goodness, truth, and beauty, must be concrete and 
beyond the world if it exists at all. Such a being would 
have absolute value for all beings who directly apprehend 
it. We must remind ourselves once more that we must 
not expect to find it among the objects of this world, 
nor to find it adequately manifested in the world. The 
reason that most thinkers are opposed to the theory of 
the mystic who holds that we can see God as the Absolute 
beyond all the species and types of reality known in this 
world, is because we wish the mystic to define the 

We forget that in reality an absolute cannot be defined. 
All that Newton did in his definition of absolute space, 
time, and motion was to presuppose their existence and 


Value and Existence 

then merely use synonyms to describe them. They are 
final categories that cannot be defined in terms of some- 
thing not themselves. At bottom they are really the 
indication that the absolute is not the relative. "Absolute 
space,, by its own nature without relationship to anything 
external, always remains like unto itself and immovable. 
Relative space is any measure or changing dimension of 
that space., which is defined through our senses by its 
location in regard to bodies and is commonly used in 
place of immovable space thus the dimension of sub- 
terranean, aerial, or celestial space is defined by its 
location in relation to the earth. 3 ' 1 The definition of the 
Absolute cannot give us a higher genus under which to 
classify it. If the Absolute transcends the world it cannot 
be defined in terms of the world. God is the Ultimate 
from which the logical forms are themselves derived. He 
is the concrete of which the thin forms of earthly existence 
are merely broken threads of life. 

If the Godhead has absolute value, does it then mean 
that human personality must necessarily be instrumental 
in its value, or merely relative? Of course it might be 
true that only God could have absolute value. Then 
there would be absolute value but finite personality could 
never participate in it. However, Plato has pointed out 
the right way to handle this problem. He holds that by 
participation the individual obtains value. If we use this 
clue we can hold that we share in the absoluteness of 
God by cooperative life with Him. If value is the concrete 
fulness of life, then perfect cooperation with God pro- 
duces an organization in which a personality shares, or 
1 Newton^ op. cit Scholium to Definition Eight. 


Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

better., participates in the absolute value of the Divine. 1 
The Christian has attempted indirectly to deal with 
this problem by his conception of the Trinity. Most of 
us do not realize that in the speculation of the Greek 
Church;, the Church from which the theory of the Trinity 
emerged in its maturest form,, the Trinity was conceived 
as the concrete fulness of life although each had an 
individual existence. Thus the Trinity became the type 
of what communal life of persons may be. 

Our theory means that each individual gains absolute 
value by complete love for God and complete love 
for man. The love for God is the way of participating in 
the Divine Life. Our psychological theories of love leave 
to one side the conception of love as a life of participation; 
but in fact it is a way of transcending the self in a perfect 
unity with that which is loved. If we completely love God 
we are no longer merely ourselves; we become united 
with the absolute life of God Himself. But our love for 
God is always a love that presses out in many directions 
and carries with it an organization with all other life. 
That is the truth in that Romanticism which in English 
thought so frequently united with Neo-Platonism. 
However^ I do not mean to suggest that our life becomes 
absorbed in the life of God. Just here lies the value of 
the Christian theory of the Trinity. It recognizes that 
there are three individuals in the Godhead but that these 
individuals even as individuals are united in one life. 
So we are knit together in one common life if we share 
the life of God. We are part of the fellowship of another 
which is also the fellowship with the Absolute. 

1 Supra, pp. 61 ff. 

o 209 

Value and Existence 

In the ideal order each individual has an absolute 
position in the whole. Hegel was wrong when he gave 
a positive value to all that exists: some existents are 
moving away from the fulness of being. But his concep- 
tion of what the world is does give us a faint hint of that 
ideal order which Kant called the realm of ends?- and 
which we may call the Kingdom of Heaven. Each indi- 
vidual ideally has some universal function in the whole. 
So also each member of the Trinity is the whole of the 
Godhead from one particular point of view. Thus the 
individual has an absolute participating value. Because 
he shares in the life of the absolute he has a participating 
absoluteness in the life of the realm of ends. 

How does this all relate to our conception of physical 
relativity? The answer has been implied already. Human 
life is relative because of the relative nature of all life 
in space and time. Hence if we are to conceive of our- 
selves ever participating in the ideal concrete order we 
must either hold that the realm of ends is outside of space 
and time or else hold that there is a higher type of space 
and time than that known to the order in which we now 
live. Very often the Christian or the Neo-Platonist holds 
that the "realm of ends" is a timeless and spaceless realm. 
That was the position of Plotinus and even of some of 
the Christian Fathers. However^ it is quite possible that 
we have not exhausted the whole realm of possibilities 
in assuming the eternal life must be timeless. Two 
modern Platonists 2 have suggested a cumulative theory of 

1 Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (Abbott's 
trans. 3 p. 51). 

2 Lossky, The World as an Organic Whole, pp. 88-905 A. S. 
AlexeyeVj My si i Deistvitelnost (Thought and Reality);, p. 307. 


Physical Relativity and Absolute Values 

time connected with a theory of space which holds that 
the approach to one point does not necessarily mean the 
leaving of another point. If such theories are thinkable 
they may throw light on our problem. If they are valid 
the life of the realm of ends may be a special type of 
spatial and temporal existence. It is to be hoped that 
their future work may throw light on this difficult 

Does such a theory take into account the problem of 
beauty? Yes, but since it insists that physical life is 
relative and that our present physical life does not have 
absolute value it holds that no physical object is abso- 
lutely beautiful. Hence., until a higher life of the body 
is reached the physical can only symbolize but cannot 
embody absolute value. The beauty of the mountains,, 
the beauty of a flower., the beauty of a picture, is not 
perfect beauty. Each of these relatively beautiful objects 
points to the transfiguration that has been wrought in 
some bit of physical existence. 1 Thus by being a relative 
value., participating to some degree in the absolute life 
of beauty, it can symbolize the complete beauty that lies 
beyond it. Only when life and physical existence are 
completely transfigured can they express that perfect 
life which shares in the absolute life of God. This 
theory makes music a supremely great art because 
it so marvellously suggests the infinite reaches of 
life. And it is to be remembered that it was just 
this theory of art that inspired Michelangelo, da Vinci, 
Raphael, and the marvellous writers of Russian 
church music, acclaimed by some to have com- 

1 Eugen N. Trubetzkoy, Altrussiche Ikonenmalerei. 


Value and Existence 

posed the most beautiful church music of the modern 
world. 1 

According to our theory the relativity of the physical 
world can only be escaped by transfiguring it and thus 
sharing in the absolute existence which is the absolute 

1 Norden, "A Brief Study of the Russian Liturgy and its Music/' 
The Musical Quarterly > July 1919. 



The Fulness of Life 

IT would seem absurd even to the most bigoted soul 
not to seek life as a fulness and richness of existence. 
The Don Juans, the Goethes, the Heines, the Byrons, 
as well as the saints, have sought life in its fulness as 
they thought. Goethe thought that by tasting every type 
of experience even at the expense of others he would 
make his life full and rich. He drained the cup to the 
bottom and tasted it to the full as he thought, drinking 
dregs and all. Even if many souls had to suffer for him., 
yet that was necessary that he might have the fulness of 
life. Some tell us that even the saints must crush others 
if they stand in the way of the soul that moves on toward 
perfection. If men stand in our way as we strive on to the 
life of solitary fellowship with God, where beauty., truth, 
and goodness are our blessed heritage, then we must 
thrust them aside, for our fuller life is that which is all- 

But how thin is the conception of a Goethe, a Heine, 
or even those who make the life of the saint that of 
crushing others for his own perfection. The life of the 
selfish seeker of his own salvation is not the fuller life. 
It has not that beauty, that radiant charm that only the 
deeper, unselfish life can yield. 

Now according to the conception of life implied in 
our theory of value, life in its fuller aspects, in its rich- 
ness and fuller development, is not the seeking of one's 


Value and Existence 

own salvation for himself alone. The fulness of life is 
not "self-perfection" in the sense of making oneself 
complete over against other souls. Rather it is the seeking 
of perfection through union with God and with the 
Kingdom of God. In myself I am not the bounding 
walls of even a possible perfect life. It is only as my fuller 
life expands into the life of God and the Kingdom of 
God that I become a being of worth. My fuller life is 
God and the Kingdom of God; it is not mine as my own 
creation. It is my fuller life because I am an organ of its 
life. Even the Kingdom of God is value only because It 
is the Body of Christ and because through it His purpose 
and His life flow. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: 
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth 
forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" 
(St. John xv. 5). 

Now this doctrine of value as the fulness of life, and the 
fulness of life as the participation of the creature in the 
Life of God Himself, and the participation as a corporate 
life of the Kingdom of Heaven this doctrine, I say, is a 
conception that is found in its classic form in the Fourth 
Gospel. It is in the Gospel according to St. John that 
there lie hidden the germs of that concept of value which 
unites the virtues of individualism and universalism in 
axiology, and brings together the value of God, the ulti- 
mate group, and the individual. Yet this theory is critical 
of every attempt to set up any group in our earthly order 
as a substitute for the Kingdom of Heaven. To the casual 
reader its pages may appear naive and unphilosophical, 
but that is due to the fact that so little of its inner meaning 
has been assimilated by any philosophy of the past. In 


The Fulness of Life 

many respects it is like Neo-Platonism, and much of it 
can be illuminated by Platonic doctrines, but in many 
other ways it is very different. 

Now we have already seen that the Neo-Platonist had 
a developed theory of knowledge, but one that had a 
paradoxical element., an element that led towards sub- 
jectivism in the realm of epistemology. For he held that 
the immediate objects of our sense-experience are mental 
images, although he also assumed the objective validity 
of the categories of thought. Thus the most elemental 
ideas of geometry are known through notions latent in 
the mind, rather than through forms that are immanent 
in observed reality. 

For the Neo-Platonist there is a concrete spiritual 
reality, the Good or the Absolute. We do not apprehend 
it by an objective mystical experience, but rather 
by seeking God within our own breast. There is 
a mystic spark of the divine in each soul, an inner 
organ of the divine. Through this inner light, this 
centre of the soul that can never be contaminated, 
the Funklein, as Meister Eckhart later called it, we 
intuit the divine. It is what Plotinus refers to in the 
Fifth Ennead as "the Interior Man," to use Mackenna's 
translation. 1 

Now the Gospel according to St. John approaches the 
problem in a very different manner. Although St. Paul 
is saturated with inner mysticism, the author of the 
Fourth Gospel has a much more natural theory of the 
process of apprehending the Divine. The language is 

1 5. 1. 10. Some of the Neo-Platonists did not espouse this doctrine; 
but our exposition is true of Plotinus and many of them. 


Value and Existence 

that of seeing and hearing. ". . . If them wouldest believe, 
thou shouldest see the glory of God" (St. John xi. 40). 
"Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of 
God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" 
(i. 51). "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" 
(xiv. 9). "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world 
cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth 
him" (xiv. ly). 1 It is a naive theory of knowledge, you 
say. In one sense it is, but in another sense it is not. 
The Gospel espouses a naive theory of sense-perception, 
but also a theory of the direct and objective apprehension 
of spiritual facts. "A little while, and ye shall not behold 
me, and again a little while and ye shall see 
me" (xvi. 16). E. A. Abbott says of this passage, 
"The disciples repeat the saying in perplexity. It is 
repeated again by Jesus in His reply to their questionings 
with one another. In each of the three cases the same 
distinction is observed, apparently indicating that "behold' 
means c behold with the bodily eye' but 'see' means c see 
spiritually.' " 2 

The glory of the Gospel according to St. John lies 
in its grasp of the fact that both our sensory and spiritual 
knowledge are a direct and outward apprehension of 
reality. Spiritual knowledge is not the grasp of the divine 
within us through an inner core of divinity. The Divine 
is not a part of our nature, but is that which we grasp 
when we see "the heaven opened." Thus there is, in 

1 The conclusion of this passage^ not given here, brings out a 
point we shall deal with Iater 3 i.e. the fact that "abiding in" is higher 
than seeing. 

2 Johannine Vocabulary, 1597. By permission of the Macmillan 
Company and the Cambridge University Press. 


The Fulness of Life 

St. John's 1 rejection of the Pauline metaphysic of know- 
ledge with its inner light, a return to the simpler position 
of the sayings of the Synoptics. This makes possible a 
return to Jesus' own concept of Faith. 

According to the Old Testament,, faith is not a cognitive 
act. To the writers of the Old Testament there was no 
doubt at all about the existence of God. Faith was a 
personal confidence in the character of God. 2 In Jesus' 
own thinking faith seems to have a similar meaning. 
There was no doubt in His mind about God's existence. 
Faith was for Him a personal trust in God and His 
tender love for all men. Men showed faith in our Lord 
Himself when they trusted His personal character and 
kindness. 3 

St. Paul was saturated with the conceptions of the 
Hellenistic world, and his theory of knowledge was 
much like the Neo-Platonic one: there is an inner light, 
a spark of the divine in each man's breast. 4 St. John 
returned to a more direct system of knowledge^ a system 
that has caused many thinkers to consider him naive. 
But naive he is not. His theory is complex but very 
simply stated. For St. John 3 knowledge seems to be 
above "believing"; but Faith as an abiding in the Father 
is above knowledge. 5 

The achievement of value is only possible by coopera- 
tion with God Himself through the Life of the Trinity. 

1 In using this expression I do not mean to commit myself on the 
question of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel. 

2 Johannine Vocabulary^ 1469-71. 

8 Inge, Faith and its Psychology, pp. 8, 9. 

* Col. i. 27 1 2 Cor. iv. 16; Rom. ii. 15; Rom. vii. 22. 

5 Johannine Vocabulary > 1479* 1629. 


Value and Existence 

Value is only possible through concrete consubstantiality 
or an "abiding in" the Life of God. Thus the achieve- 
ment of value is above the mere recognition of it. This is 
only possible, St. John maintains, because of our personal 
confidence in the divine Goodness as truly the Good and 
the Truth, and a mutual cooperative life with God. The 
doctrine of perichoresis grew out of the Fourth Gospel, 
and it is the clue to the whole theory of value. 

The Gospel of St. John is a gospel of the fulness of life. 
"I am come that they might have life and that they 
might have it more abundantly" (St. John x. 10). But 
the abundant life was a life of the fellowship of one 
disciple with another, just as the Son had His abundant 
life in His association with the Father. It was the doctrine 
of the perichoresis that made St. John's conception of 
the fuller life a social one. For the Platonist it is the flight 
of the alone to the Alone that makes life rich and full. 
But for St. John the branches are parts of one organism 
through the life of the Divine Son and the Holy Ghost. 
The doctrine of the Church and the Sacraments in the 
Fourth Gospel is a theory of the presence of the divine 
in human life in a similar way to the consubstantiality 
of the Persons of the Trinity. This is also a Synoptic 
conception and seems to represent Jesus' own thought. 
"For where two or three are gathered together in my 
name there am I in the midst of them" (St. Matt. xvii. 20). 
The presence of the divine in the world, the very fulness 
of life, comes through the Trinitarian Life of the God- 
head present in human life through a corporate life 
which means fellowship with God. "Abide in me, and 
I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except 


The Fulness of Life 

it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in 
me" (St. John xv. 4). 

Bishop Westcott has caught the same message in the 
Fourth Gospel. "The true unity of believers., like the 
unity of Persons in the blessed Trinity, is offered as 
something far more than a mere moral unity of purpose, 
feeling, affection; it is, in some mysterious mode which 
we cannot apprehend, a vital unity. In this sense it is 
the symbol of a higher type of life, in which each con- 
stituent being is a conscious element in the being of a 
vast whole. In 'the life,' and in c the life* only, each 
individual life is able to attain perfection." 1 

It is this perfection of the fuller life which gives a 
joyful meaning to all existence. It is the felicity that makes 
life true, beautiful, and good. It is the radiance of a 
goodness that shines forth in beauty, the fineness of the 
life of virtue which has transfigured all human endeavours 
by finding their meaning in the Kingdom of Heaven. 
This is a joyous life that makes thin earthly pleasures 
seem poor and insignificant. 

1 Bishop Westcott, in his Commentary on St. John (xvii. 21). By 
permission of John Murray, publisher^ London. 

2I 9 


Abbott, E. A., 210;, 216 
Absolute, ii, 12, 59, 70-1, 99, 

171, 178, 179;, 180, 209, 210, 


Albertus Magnus, 52-3, 73 
Alexeyev, A. S., 210 
Aquinas, Thomas, 52-3, 74 
Aristotle, 9, 13, 16, 73, 163, 164, 

Augustine, 13, 52, 73, 128, 198-9 

Beauty, 109, 193-6, 211-12 
Berkeley, 201 
Body, 179, 182-6, 214 
Brentano, F., 149-50 

Concretely ideal existence, 64 
Conscience, 155 
Consciousness, 161-70 

abstract, 68, 72, 117, 176, 

concrete, 72, 76, 108, 175, 

181-3, 218 
Creator, II 

Deification, 73, 74, 77, 84, 108, 

115, 128 

Democritus, 62, 80 
Dionysius the Areopagite, 52, 53, 

Dostoevsky, 88, 91, 116, 126, 127 

Eckhart, Arnold, 53-6 
Eckhart, Meister, 215 
Ehrenfels, C. V., 28, 44, 155 
Emotional Intuitivism, 35-6, 

Erigena, Johannes Scotus, 53, 74, 

78, 138 

Evil, 123-31 

Evolution, 1 1 6, 118-20, 132-40, 
*50. 153 

Faith, 217 
Feeling, see Value 
Fichte, 36, 79, 127, 200 
Florensky, P., 58-9, 69 
Frank, S., 66, 83, 84 
Freedom, 76-8, 87, 108, 117, 128 
Fulness of being, see Value and 
see God 

as the absolute, n, 12, 59, 
70-1, 99* I7i 178, 179, 180, 
209, 210, 215 

as absolute intrinsic value, 
59-61, 99, 109-13, 178, 183, 
185-9, 208, 218 
as the beautiful, 109, 193-6 
as creator, II 
as the fulness of being, 56-61, 

73-4, 82, 113 
as the good, 59* 99. *<>9. **3. 

192-3, 218 

as meaning, 59, 185-9 
as personal, 70-1 
as the truth, 109* 192, 218 
Good, the, see Value and see God 
Gregory Theologus, 138 
Gurvitch, G. D., 36-7, 79 

Hartmann, N., 36* 4*> 126, 142, 
143, 147, 149. *5. *54> 203 

Hegel, 10-12, 200, 210 

Heyde, E., 33. 34. 44. 45. 46-50, 
102, 142, 147. 149 

Husserl, E., 39 


Value and Existence 

Image of God, 74, 84, 93* *43> 


Immanence, 67-703 97, 185 
Immanentism, 166 
Individual existence 3 79-94 
Inge, 1 6 1, 162 

Intrinsic, see Value and see God 
Intuition, 165-70 

Jesus Christ, 187-93 2163 2183 219 
John, St., Gospel according to, 

Judgment, see Value 

Kant, 97, 199, 210 

Kingdom of God (or Kingdom 

of Heaven) 
as absolute value, 13-14, 133, 

as the body of the Trinity, 179, 

182-3, 214 

as the fulness of life, 16, 115 
and God, 70-4 
and individuality, 81-94, *74> 


as Spirit, 83, 130 
Kreibig, I. C., 29, 156 

Leibniz, 53-6, 80, 95, 96, 165, 

1735 182 

Likeness of God, 74, 93 
Logos, 179 
Love, 75-6 

Maurice, F. D., 10, 187-9 
Maximus the Confessor, 73 
Meaning, 48, 59, 65, 66, 81, 

97-8, 106, i7i-7 182-9 
Meinong, Alexius, 29-33, 44, 155 
Mill, J. S., 38 
Moore, G. E., 42-3, 51 
More, H., 197, 200, 203 
Mtinsterberg, 42, 45, 142, 149 


Newton, Isaac, 16, 200, 202, 207, 

Paul, St., 215, 217 
Paulsen, F., 42 
Perfection, 53 
Perichoresis, 179 
Personalisni, 95 
Personality, 94-8, 171-4 
Plato, 15, 16, 42, 59, 164, 208 
Plotinus, ii, 16, 161, 210, 215 
Pre-consciousness, 65, 69, 144 
Pre-feeling, 65, 66 
Psychologism, 28, 38-46 

Quality, see Value 

Relation, see Value 
Relativism, 28-32, 41, 104, 140 
Relativity, physical, 201-2 
Renouvier, Ciu, 78, 95, 96 
Rickert, H., 45, 79, 149 
Russell, Lord, 202 

Satan, 125-6, 129, 138 

Scheler, M., 34-6, 41, 44, 46, 

50-2, 6^100, 126, 203 
Schelling, 9-10, 127 
Schopenhauer, 130, 200 
Sense Knowledge, 161-6, 216 
Seuse, H., 57-8 
Solovyof, V., 9, 10, 44, 74, 78, 


Spencer, H., 41 
Spinoza, 37, 53, 200 
Stern, W., 39, 48, 59, 953 96, 

112-13, 118, 142 
Strahlwerte, 112-13 
Substantival agent, 62-7, 72, 81, 

10 L, 150, 1 66, 176 

Temple, W., 203 
Tolstoy, 137 


Trinity, 16, 71-2, 81, 1 09-10, 
141, 143. 178-81, 183-4, 
209-10, 217-19 

Truth, see Value and see God 

absolute, 14, 31, 103-14, 139, 

205, 207-9 

absolute all-embracing intrin- 
sic, 109-11 
absolute all-embracing partial, 


beauty as a, 193-6, 211-12 
definition of, 49-50, 99-103 
derivative, 99, 101, 112 
and existence, 52-3 
as feeling, 28-33, 38~45 
feeling as a clue to, 42-4, 48, 

60, 100, 102, 144-7^ *56 
as the fulness of being, 56, 76, 

115, 213-19 

good as a, 59-61, 192-3 
impersonal, 33, 96 
instrumental, 39, 125, 131-2 

Value continued 
intrinsic, 38, 103-14 
judgment of, 146-7 
as meaning, 59, 66, 174-7, 

182-4, 186-7 

negative, 56, 60, 101, 123-31 
objective, 156 
positive, 185 

as a quality, 34-6, 50-2, 203-4 
rank, 141-3 

as a relation, 33-4, 46-9 
and relations, 49-50, 109, 

relative, 104-7, 114-23, 205-6, 


subjective intrinsic, 119, 123 
theory of, relative, 202-3 
theory of, subjective, 28-33 
truth as, 109, 189-92 

Ward, J., 173 
Westcott, B. F., 219 
Will and Value, 102, 147